A Love Life Revisited:
The threshold between love and marriage, The Ten Days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, creates a rich and relevant context to re-look into our lives. One of our biggest reflections can be how do we engage in our most intimate relationships-whether romantic or otherwise.As a member of the long term marriage sect, I always wondered and I am asked:
How do you keep love alive and interesting for the long haul?
What is love and how do you grow it? In the context of marriage or any long term relationship, this is a HUGE QUESTION, a question my husband and I are asked when we are introduced to a new group of people. It goes like this:
"What, you know each other for how long? Since you were a senior in high school? Are you kidding? "
The looks we get vary from shock, disbelief to "Awwww, that's so sweet, that's what I want" to "I'm never doing that- not me, no way, no how!" to "Wow, that's beyond amazing. You are so unusual in this day and age."
Hmmm. Or.... Crazy.
I describe marriage as a spiral that nests itself into itself, all coiled in love and adoration- and unravels out of itself with momentary flashes of ebbs and flows magnetizing the harmonic dance of the moon and the tides. With apexes, high and mighty, dripping and dropping like the crash-thrash of Stock Market unforeseen tornadoes, only to be scattered onto rocks, like disowned debris after the green funnel cloud has passed-a little amazed at the force of nature, shocked that it all just happened, and thrilled as to "Where do we go from here?"
THAT'S MARRIAGE. The opening to what is possible and what IS next?
Marriage is getting so refined on you- becoming the expert on you, while connected to another. Who, as well, has become -or at least consciously working on becoming- an expert on them self. Otherwise, if the value of becoming an expert is not there, then hey, the effect is CURTAINS. The Final Show, The Last Tour, or like The Last Song as in "40", also known as "40 (How Long)", the tenth and final track from U2's 1983 album, War. An interesting name for an album that ends with words inspired by Psalm 40.
Not a word we wish to associate with any loving relationship, the Jewish New Year or one of the world's greatest, popular composers and musician. But let's see how it plays itself out.
When we were making our third record, the War LP, we were being thrown out of the studio by the studio manager because we had overrun or something and we had one more song to do. We wrote this song in about ten minutes, we recorded it in about ten minutes, we mixed it in about ten minutes and we played it, then, for another ten minutes and that's nothing to do with why it's called '40'.
--Bono, Concert April 29, 1987
The first verse of the song is based on Psalm 40:1-2, and the second verse of the song is based on Psalm 40:2-3. The chorus is loosely based on the first two verses of Psalm 40:3, which reads "He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God... I will sing, sing a new song. Oh Lord, to sing this new song, how long to sing this song? How long....to sing this song?"
A new song, a new opportunity, a renewal to an old paradigm and redefining moment to shift the means and the end. A moment of utmost potential. A teaching moment, a question of reality and perhaps a lesson learned. What can be new, renewed and reviewed? Questioned, questioned and beckoning the Lord for just how long do I have to sing this song? This moment. Each unfolding moment in life can be a renewal, a forgiving moment creating momentum toward the greater good for you- the individual, then to the other- spouse, partner etc. War? "We want no trouble" Maybe with ourselves. That is what Yom Kippur invites, a renegotiation with you, yourself and the higher being. Fall in love with the highest version of you. "How long, to sing this song?"
For as long as you are alive, married, in relationship and keep it fresh. Stay inspired. That is an inside job.
The Psalms that so aptly filled Bono's subconscious poured out as quickly and familiarly as his second name. Filling up the space on the threshold between a fantastic album and the final song, 40 (How Long?) Bono's intimate connection with this psalm indicates where he was at, emotionally, when he felt under pressure to produce a closing song with limited time to do so. Perhaps a moment of panic set in, or the fear of writer's block, with time ticking away-"how long to sing this song?" It seemed he relied upon a solid cellular memory that infused his creative license, so he unconsciously went back to what's core. His relationship with G-d. "Solid ground, solid rock."
This effortless flow from Bono, pulled these devotional hymns of praise to the Almighty G-d, the Creator of the Universe forward into our modern culture.. Bono exalted and used the theme of G-d's greatness, goodness and mercy as he tuned into feeling this higher power percolating benath the obvious. Bono's ability to recall the wisdoms channeled by King David, palpated a presence larger than oneself- that speaks of praise, power and justice. This is available to all of us, at all times. Imagine being in this space as you face your partner on a good day, but most especially in a challenging moment or situation. What pulls you up and through? Just thinking about your connection to a higher power-neuroscientifucally rewires your brain to go into calm, clear and connected and will empower you to respond with wisdom and elevate the outcome of a situation. Feeling supported and rewiring your ability to feel the interconnection that supports and nourishes- rather than deflates and deconstructs- sustains and retains a forward movement of motion. Reconnect with that power and experience the renewal in all relationships.
With an open heart, King David's signature brand throughout time, pours out the deep faith and trust he has in G-d alone. Thematically, the Psalms were created as prayers and supplications to this Divine force of nature and the creator of the spheres. The Tehillim, the Book of Psalms, is oft referred to as a place of comfort, useful relevant prayers in times of utter despair and grief, innermost trouble and when faithlessness plows into your belief system. Opening the Book of Psalms to a page randomly, usually points to a song that is serendipitously deeply relevant to you, then. The wisdom that arises, is just plain good old-fashioned timeless advice paving a path, a mapping of sorts, as an alignment plan toward living a happy life filled with integrity, the values of virtuosity and staying the course with a back to basics attitude. Timeless. Living life fully.
The wisdom of the Psalms reflect all the fractal pieces that can happen in a life, both to the individual, and to the universal societies we live in. King David lived in exile, persecution, and experienced severe struggles, that he eventually triumphs. When we keep our eyes, hearts and minds W I D E open we can use King David as an example and prophecy in our own life. So Bono saw the inspiration, courage, and hope the Psalms offered. We can go back in time to come forward with dedicated momentum at this momentous time--Yom Kippur comes. We undress our truth and question, "How long to sing this song, how long, how long , how long, how long, to sing this song...I iwll sing a new song." Fall in love with the space after the question. Then yourself and keep your life alive.
And so, like King David, we all can--Jewish or not- mark this threshold of time as a deep self assessment as to what works in our life, and what does not. What works with our special someone. We can look at what needs editing and what needs a letting go of. And what is it that can be added to enhance the primary relationship we have with ourselves, the Divine or Higher power, and with those we share our intimate lives with. This is how we grow love and make life ever ore deep and interesting. Go inside and become intimate with you. Become the expert on you and be the virtuoso. Play you as Stratavarius created his instrument in his likeness. As G-d did for us. We are Masters of our own Universes. Master.
Thresholds hold a little of one world and an invitation to the new one. The Liminal Space of Potentiality. Question reality, question the status quo and remember you are the common denominator everywhere. Look within, "from solid ground" as Bono sings, and release any War and find peace with a song that uses a psalm as it's weapon of mass construction. Thank you Bono. Thank you U2. Thank UR loves of UR life.
Be It. Do It. Have It.
It is the action of remembrance for something greater, the gracious gratitude for having a mind to question reality and the gift of conscious awareness to make the journey ever sweeter-with you, your significant relationship and all the greatness you bring everywhere, for "How Long, to sing this song?"
Happy New Year. Think "Easy Fast" to rid ourselves of what no longer serves. And fill up on what affirms the blessing of love, luck and generosity of kindness for the latest, greatest version of you.