“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” - C.S. Lewis.
There are thirty-seven days until my wedding to William Gene Price, III. (insert a shocked-looking LOLcat photo here) When we were forty days out, I undertook (perhaps foolishly) to make the last stretch of the journey a sort of penitential season, like Advent or Lent; every cell in my body and every bit of my heart is alive with heightened consciousness of the great mystery which we are approaching. It seems only right that I should be spiritually preparing myself for a Sacrament whose grace I cannot even begin to understand.
So—it is day three of the forty-day season before our wedding, and I am on an airplane headed to Raleigh, NC to play a house show tomorrow night. Leaving home has only gotten harder since I’ve been engaged, and especially right before the wedding. Billy is so intricately tangled up in my idea of home now that traveling without him feels like traveling without part of myself. And yet, as much as I dislike it, it gives me pause to reflect on the past, to take stock of the present, and to dream of the future.
I’ve quite enjoyed my single life; with all its various heartbreaks and speed bumps, it has still managed to be a really exciting and fruitful time. I highly recommend it, actually. :) Now, as I close in on the end of it, I am astonished by the fact that, in thirty seven days, my vehicle to holiness will no longer be my singleness, but our marriage. Love will take on a new form and fashion; now, it will be privy to all my unseen bad habits and quirky behaviors, and it will be allowed to notice and point out that I always butter my bread before I toast it, and that I forget to transfer my clothes from the washer to the dryer, and that I leave empty coffee cups all over the house. No longer will my body be only my own. I will be physically, spiritually, and emotionally laid bare, and the eyes of Love will be there to look. Marriage seems as though it ought to be titled “Decent Exposure”—for exposed I will be, and rightfully so.
Just like my parents before me in Genesis, I cannot hide from Love in fig leaves or in my own solitude. If I try, my heart will be, as Lewis puts it above, “unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” That would be the greatest tragedy of my life.
No man is an island, no matter how he may believe himself to be one.