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June 22, 2006


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steve the z

Even without kids in the house I noticed my wife enjoying the odd get away without "him" (being me of course) being healthy for Her, It's good, I encourage it. I always get a better version of all that I loved before when she comes home.


steve, I remember reading a book many years ago ("The Mystery of Marriage" - Mike Mason). In it there's a phrase that really stuck me; "we are guardians of each other's solitude".

I've been pondering the depths of that phrase for a long time.

ps it's one of the few "christian marriage" books that isn't a whole lot of rot.

steve the z

"we are guardians of each other's solitude"

good phrase, haven't read that one, I'll look for it.

Susan McKeown AKA Jobeena

The phrase actually comes from the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, I think from his Letters to a Young Poet. I assume whoever the heck Mike Mason is that he wasn't even born before Rilke was dead and that Mr. Mason had the honesty to give the proper attribution.

"The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down
all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner
appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each
other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility,
and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs
one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once
the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite
distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them,
if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives
them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole
and before an immense sky."


Susan, I don't recall if he cites authorship or not. It has been a number of years since I've read it, so I'll look through the shelves and see if it is around. As I recall, he is an Anglican from BC, and had some sort of association with Regent (student? staff? parking guy? I don't remember), so I'm fairly certain he would have had the academic wherewithal to leave a credit. I assume that at the time I read the book, I was young and in love, so I never checked the footnotes :^)

What intrigued me about the book in the first place was skimming the forward by J.I. Packer. First Packer was wry enough to write that he is often asked to endorse books in certain circles, as "Packer's nihil obstat is prized by some."

Second, Packer's review was wholeheartedly positive.

Another phrase I recall from the book (or at least quoted in it) goes something like this:
marriage is not the joining of two worlds; it is the abandoning of two worlds so that a new one can be formed.

ps - there's also a great read by Gary Thorne, a short article enititled Friendship and Marriage:

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blank stare...

  • Copyright Rev. Joseph Walker, St Timothy's Anglican Church

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