Words and Great Love

Per, Wisława Szymborska, a Polish poet and Nobel Laureate: “So what does she (he) see in him (her)?” Such questions are best left in peace: great love is never justified. It’s like the little tree that springs up in some inexplicable fashion on the side of a cliff: where are its roots, what does it feed on, what miracle produces those green leaves? But it does exist and it really is green — clearly, then, it’s getting whatever it needs to survive.”

As our marriage slowly approaches a half century of life, I ask: How can two such different people have found a life together and raised a boy and a girl to adulthood? The great love that Wisława Szymborska addresses above sounds, at first, like a step removed from reality.

Two people spend that long together and they have each perhaps been married to five different people, in other words five different versions of the same spouse. Even if you married the “right” person, persons number two through five may be the “wrong” persons.

How about this? The wisdom portion of the Bible which includes the Book of Proverbs, suggests choosing one’s words carefully and doing one’s utmost to keep his (her) temper in check. We all get triggered. The question is, what happens then?

Only by the grace of God, my spouse and I have shared enough time in that mode under control, relative to the other, that, we’ve managed to keep this ship afloat. Hope it’s working for you as well. In addition to its precious depth, perhaps, that’s what Ms. Szymborska actually means by great love.