Without knowing how, when, or where from

"I love you without knowing how, when, or where from;
I love you straightforwardly, with neither complexities nor pride:
I love you thus, not knowing how to love you otherwise."
Pablo Neruda - Sonnet XVII

This Sonnet was the second reading at our wedding ceremony a few months ago. As we leave for our honeymoon next week, I find myself reliving the memories of my wedding. Yes, it's a late honeymoon. The Monday right after we got married, I took a Final Exam in medical school, he went back to the lab, and normalcy returned. I complained about it then, but in truth, it was oddly romantic.

I remember the night before my wedding, I was up late pondering what it all meant. Surely, marriage was not the promise of love alone - that, I had already offered freely since the first day I had known him. And surely, marriage was not just the promise of adoration, attraction, and passion - all that, I had also given and received. Rather, I concluded much later that night, it was the promise of life.   

And if I had learned anything in the past few months, it's that life is quite a bit harder than love. Life comes with obstacles and challenges that can continually make you question the very core of who you are. Some days, when everything falls apart, all that remains in your life is each other. And so each evening, in complete exhaustion from today's events, and between disagreements about tomorrow's plans, you reach out and find happiness in your partner's arms, "straightforwardly, with neither complexities nor pride." And the next morning, you wake up with a renewed resolution that together, you will always find the strength to move forward, sometimes "without knowing how, when, or where from."

Much like the Monday after my wedding, marriage takes on the appearance of normalcy. You see it in every couple who goes to work in the morning and returns home at night, juggling their many responsibilities. But in a world filled with wars, deceits, and tragedies, there is nothing normal whatsoever about two people who, despite not knowing what might come next, make the blind promise to always stick with each other and build a life together. It is among the strangest and riskiest promises any sane person could make. It is also among the most romantic. Maintaining that normalcy takes an extraordinary amount of strength, along with all the love, adoration, attraction and passion in the world.

And so in some ways, the honeymoon began long before the trip. It began in the everyday routine, amidst the trials and tribulations of life, with the simple realization that "I love him thus, not knowing how to love him otherwise."



Hien said...

'I love you straightforwardly, with neither complexities nor pride' - this is SO true. And it's also true that the most beautiful, romantic love blossoms from normalcy and everyday life. N is indeed the luckiest guy on Earth to have you darling x

Hien said...

And the time is DUE for a honeymoon ;) Well, my apologies you two'll have to spend 4 days of it with us ;D haha loveyouxxxx

April.W + Hien.N said...

@Hien: Oh believe me, I remind him too :-). N. and I are not AT ALL sorry we will be seeing you!!! In fact, that's one of the most exciting part of our trip!!!! It's not like Rome is a secluded spot in the middle of nowhere anyway, so we will be surrounded by people :-). And there is no one we would rather be surrounded with than our best friends :-). xoxoxoxo love you!!

Tấm said...

i don't know but i love this quote! :D

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