Friday, April 18, 2008

The Companion of Sorrows

Contemplating the divine spirit of Hera is difficult for me. I am not likely to ever be married, not in this country, and I am not even sure that I believe in the concept of marriage itself. Family, yes, but marriage?

Yet as the Goddess of Marriage, Hera insists on pushing this issue. She is my companion of sorrows, because she constantly reminds me of the darkness that our society pushes on us with its constant and fantastical images of the happy marriage and the ever so happy yet ever so boring middle class.

Sure, part of that is that I have a sense of bitterness about how unfairly those of us who are different are treated. But there is more to it than that, and I think I am beginning to get a grasp on it as I contemplate her.

Hera does not push people to marry. That is not her deal. She demands that we be true to vows. She demands that we, not only as individuals, but as a society, take marriage seriously and treat it with due respect.

But for a person like me, that is not always an apparent possibility. After all, if I do not really accept marriage itself, what possible due respect is it that I am supposed to show it?

As a gay man, I do not even have the right to get married in Ohio, hell, I don't even have the right to take my shirt off in a club, believe it or not.

So, what? What is it I am supposed to be pushing for? Gay marriage, when I don't even believe in straight marriage?

Or is it deeper than that? Does part of me feel a true sense of loss at not being the marrying type? Am I feeling guilt at not settling down? It isn't exactly by choice, for while I do not believe in marriage per se, I do have respect for my relationships. I am no cheater. But I have yet to meet a man who can truly be said to want to be in a truly committed relationship, and I get it, we are men, and men desire the complex and erotic sensations of life, but men can have those and still be committed.

But my sweet companion of sorrows is pushing me in new directions even as I write this. Pushing me into more sorrowful contemplations on the state of my life, on the state of my being, on the state I live in and how its fundamentalist churning have turned it into an ever more inhospitable place for my kind.

Maybe it truly is time for a change. A change of scenery, a change of venue, a change of reality...

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