Thursday, January 10, 2008

Book Report

"It was as if they had leapt over the calvary of conjugal life and gone
straight to the heart of love. They were together in silence like an old
married couple wary of life, beyond the pitfalls of passion, beyond the brutal
mockery of hope and the phantoms of disillusion: beyond love. For they had
lived together long enough to know that love was always love, anytime and
anyplace, but it was more solid the closer it came to death."

Marquez believes that these things--passion, hope, disillusion--as they pertain to love really are just that: pitfalls, mockeries, phantoms. I believe him. I believe, too that love is love. It is that simple. What we're doing in this "conjugal life" is solidifying it and time is on our side if we stick with it.

Case in point: i often find myself mentally criticizing older couples (that I don't even know) who seem to me in a world of a mess as far as marriage goes. Where's the respect, where's the sacrifice, where is the affection, where is the love? But really they've let go of these pitfalls of love over time. Those pitfalls, those little knots of nothing I cling to hoping they will shape me into the perfect wife or him into the perfect husband. Daily exercising my expectations on marriage, waving them like frantic flags, more to its demise than its improvement. Maybe I could just sit in silence just a little sooner and go straight to "the heart of love". Let love be love and cement it with patience--heart-wrenching, long-suffering, charitable, beautiful patience. And just stop knotting it up. I guess I was born with a restless mind that drags a restless heart along with it. I have to work things out and I've chosen to do that partly here, but mostly elsewhere. I loved the book. You should read it. Mr. Marquez has a grasp on the married woman's plight more than any other man in the world, I think.

"Matrimony: an absurd invention that could exist only by the infinite grace of God. it was against all scientific reason for two people who hardly knew each other, with no ties at all between them, with different characters, different upbringigns, and even different genders, to suddenly find themselves committed to living together, to sleeping in the same bed, to sharing two destinies that perhaps were fated to go in opposite directions...the problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast."

Yet, still divinely decreed. Yet, still desirable. I often tell Craig he can't live with me and he can't live without me. We both lean towards the belief that the events of our lives were thusly placed in just the right time in order for our meeting to happen. It had to be so because I had to have him and he had to have me. This, really, is love, isn't it? There is nothing sappy about all of it. And, if we're lucky, as time flips our pages it will become less and less sappy and more and more solid. Solid.

Now, if I can just get through these toddler years.

Reading next: The Quiet Girl by Peter Hoeg (author of Smilla's Sense of Snow).

Join me.


Jeni said...

I actually was looking at this book last night at Target. Maybe I'll go back and get it now on your recommendation.

michelle said...

Interesting thoughts here. I read Love in the Time of Cholera, but enough years ago that I don't really recall much (such is my plight). I like the image of the marriage becoming more and more solid over time. But it is ever so hard to let go of those expectations...

Michelle said...

I just love your thoughts here, and I have been wanting to get my hands on that book for some time now! It makes me think of my parents who have no business being married to each other- seriously, but they are STILL together against all odds. It really is all the reasons you mention that solidify true love and when it comes down to it you can't function as well and prefer your spouse to anyone else because of that hard earned bond. I thought because I was a little older when I married that I was mature and could be mature about differences and expectations. It was a rude awakening. But I believe through inspiration you come to accept and then love can grow. I always tell Devon that no one else could put up with him! The opposite is probably true too! I feel the same about timing- it worked so perfectly for me who can deny that something divine was involved. Have a great weekend!

Amy said...

I love the idea of the sapping seeping into solid. Fantastic book review. I was actually thinking of rereading 1000 Years of Solitude sometime soon, but perhaps I'll replace it with this one.

annalisa said...

I really should pick this up again. I tried last month when too much was going on and I had trouble getting in the story and gave up. That's what you get for reserving books at the library with incredibly long waiting lists. You never know when they are going to come in. But I love your thoughts about the book and it does make me want to try again.

Amanda Conley said...

I think I'll get this book next. I've had my eye on it for some time. Lovely blog. Thanks for sending me your way!