November 30, 2019

Ruby Wedding; revisiting the scene of the crime

Not ours, my love, the teen-dream green-screen songs
And films n’ soaps n’ mills n' boons n’ ads
Of 'hunters' living with their mums and dads,
The twenty-something dramas, dinging-dongs,
The sizzling catalogues of straps and thongs,
The Darcys, Juliets and golden lads
In modern strip from tales in which the cads
Are sixty-odd like us and cause all wrongs.

Our story didn't end like these above
In frozen celebrations, wedding dress;
We raised a daughter into Phase and Next,
We're grownups grown together, more or less,
Our romance is a realistic text:
A dangerous, married, grail-quest of true love.

Shortly before our 40th wedding anniversary I finally worked out my wedding music, that requiem for the single man. It's embodied in the fourth movement of my 'symphony No 1 in Coal Minor . Why it has taken so long (and so many books - two novels, several volumes of poems, countless albums and a couple of decades of plays and shows) to lay in art the ghost of that 1970s decade or so I was looking for m' lady wife is one of life's mysteries.  If I'd died in the classroom at 50 that life would have been my definitive - in truth only - material. Now it feels like someone else's. (I may even be able to finish my UEA degree now, the one I was awarded in 1979). Anyway, those 'golden years' youth are all there at last and all the better for featuring the lady herself on some rather lovely harmony vocals.

Canon Munt married us on Dec 1 1979, bless him.  We got exactly the same brilliant wintry weather for our revisit to the scene of the crime 40 years later.

Champagne and that glorious wedding sunshine 40 years after in Oliver Cromwell House. 

Above Rubies

(A metaphysical postulation on the occasion of our 40th wedding anniversary)

The price of wisdom is above rubies:
Our love’s transparent red corundum,
Our heart’s-blood oxidised aluminium,
Our mind-reacts-on-mind A2O3s,
Our rock whose mineral battle agrees,
Of very limited distribution
(Volcanic Burma) and weak dispersion,
More cut and polished brilliance than blaze.

A Proverb to God-worsted, broke, sick, Job
Though unknown to his ancient Hebrew scribe,
A mistranslated jewel in wisdom’s praise
And red by virtue of one atom change in five
Thousand (to chromium) yet by love’s deep ways,
Our granite wedding beds his heart-cut globe.

Note: the first line is from AV Job 28:18 and Pro 8:11, the mistranslation ‘rubies’ re-translated in RSV as ‘gems.’ Genuine rubies are only found in bands of crystalline limestone associated with the granitic and gneissic rocks of Upper Burma, northeast of Mandalay, so it is about as unlikely that Job’s Ancient Hebrew scribe would have seen one as that anyone stays (increasingly) married for 40 years.

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