A few weeks ago I read an essay by Kierkegaard in Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar, a book that I've written about before on Something Ivory. After chatting for a few hours with our newly-engaged friends yesterday, I suppose that marriage is at the forefront of my mind! The essay is called "Lasting Love"--it's short and lovely and I underlined all kinds of things as I read. Here's an excerpt:
Quite true, one does love only once, but with the years woman increases particularly in beauty and is so far from diminishing that the first beauty is somewhat questionable when compared with the later. Indeed, who, unless he is desperately in love, has not looked at a young girl without sensing a certain sadness because the fragility of mortal life shows itself here in its most extreme contrasts: vanity as swift as a dream, beauty as fair as a dream. But however fair that first beauty is, it is still not the truth; it is an envelope, a garment, from which only with the years does the true beauty extricate itself before the husband's grateful eyes.... As a bride, woman is more beautiful than as a maiden; as a mother she is more beautiful than as a bride; as a wife and mother she is a good word in season, and with the years she becomes more beautiful.
The whole essay is full of gems of wisdom just like this. Kierkegaard sure does present a spectacular picture of what marriage can be, especially if you read the whole essay--love that lasts and grows, wisdom that enriches, beauty that multiplies. That's the kind of marriage I aspire to!