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Marriage Vow of a Wannabe Activist

Updated on November 6, 2017

Let's just get it out there. I know this vow is a bit unusual. Call it selfish, call it narcissistic, call it a reaction to aging. I wrote it and, geez, it took all that time, so I'm posting it.

However, I would add this advice. If you want to have a beautiful wedding vow, don't go with this tone. This could be construed as a bit Olivia Pope-ish although that was not my intention. If you're 20-something and all glassy eyed, you might want to try Gibran like we did in the 60's. Gibran's essay on "Friendship", for example, would be a good choice:

And let your best be for your friend
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.

That particular essay was more often used at weddings than the Gibran's essay on "Marriage" because of its particular beauty.

Or maybe grab a passage from the "Desiderata" or from St. Paul, "love is patient, love is kind..."

But if you're old and practical and see love from a little different angle than you did when you were young, you might a more time-sensitive sentiment. To this day, I like the vow I wrote, selfish or not, and I like being 70 now because being called selfish doesn't scare me anymore. As we said in the 60;s, "What are they going to do about it, draft me - send me to off to war? It's a refreshing time in life when you can say what you want - even on your second wedding day. So here it is.

Nothing Little Do I Ask of You

Nothing little do I ask of you,
Only that which is beyond
the scope of even our own dreams

Sit not idly with me, but take my hand
So we can run and skip and laugh;
The world is dark enough
all on it’s own

Come paint with me -
one canvas that is yours,
the other, mine
and yet another that is both of ours

Adjust my light; stand back
and tell me what you think,
with kind, inspiring words.
And make me laugh so I can see
the flaw that needs to be repainted.

And I will bring you colors for your palate
and tell you where you might add red
to make some point
that moves the masses
or moves just only us

Let’s make the third, a painting
of some mountain, not a hill,
that we will climb together.

And buy me boots and ropes.
I’ll knit a cap for you
and mittens for your hands,

Then pull me up; and I’ll pull you
So we can stand and be much closer
to the sun
to make a point
and shout it to the world.

Let’s hurry up and not slow down;
there’s work enough
to do for each of billions’ hands -
Wrongs to right, pain to ease
If we but add our hands to theirs
who wave the signs
that make the change
and strive to seek the higher ground,
and never yield

That’s all I want,
Nothing little.
Only that which is beyond the scope
of even our own dreams.

from Billie to My Beloved Mike


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