We sat around the table in our brunchey best, while appetizers that all had the questionable word “tot” in them arrived, one after the other. In the Midwest, the waiters are so friendly they ask to be pen-pals with you, and even at 10am, the starters are fried beyond recognition.
After some untoward joking about how “tots” was the name of a special sexual move only executed in this area of the country, we brought a taste of San Francisco to Wisconsin with our witchey blessing ritual. Our resident visionary, Vanessa Verlee, had asked us to choose a stone to give to the bride to take along on her honeymoon journey, and into her marriage, which would officially begin later that day. So, one by one, we held up stones as varied as Tiger’s Eye and a rock from the parking lot outside the restaurant, telling our friend what we hoped for her as she carried it with her into this new stage in life.
When it was my turn to speak, I could feel my heart thumping, because I wanted to share the shadow side as much as a blessing. Earlier that week, I went to my favorite store for crystals, Scarlett Sage, to purchase a Rose Quartz, because I had lent my big Rose Quartz rock to the bride many times over the years of our friendship, whenever she was feeling particularly heartsick. I wanted her to have her own, a fresh one for this new relationship. But, I intoned gravely, marriage will break your heart, too. In this season of weddings, I think this is an important message for newlyweds to hear. Marriage does indeed break your heart, so when that happens, don’t be alarmed or put off. Feel it, and bring all of that passion and beauty back into the relationship, once you’ve healed your heart a bit.
Just like when you are pregnant and need to hear about how hard it will be so you don’t despair when everything is not adorable socks and sweet-smelling snuggles, folks about to be married need to be told, very kindly and gently, that marriage is a struggle, but it is totally worth it. I think such frank talk could prevent some of the tendencies to avoid any pain that often result in jilting, or early divorces.
Mary was warned, before she took on the Incarnation into her body, that it would not all be fun and games with the Son of God in her womb: “Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” — Luke 2:35, World English Bible. The angel Gabriel advised her that she would suffer greatly as a result of what God was asking her to do, but he also told her the result. Many hearts would benefit from revelation just from her act of willingly putting her own soul through such piercing pain. I believe that marriage is the same way — when a marriage between two people (I’m using the term marriage loosely since for archaic, hateful reasons, it is only legal for straightys in most states) is open to struggle, to hearts breaking so more can be revealed, then it is a blessing to all around them. So, let your heartbreak show, dear friends, hold tight to your healing elements, and you will find that every break, if healed well with love, will make that relationship stronger. I will try to do the same, letting my friends in on when my heart is breaking, allowing love to permeate the cracks until flowers grow there, sturdy and lovely and true.