Yesterday, I had the privilege to watch one of my closest friends, a person who has become, and so now is, a brother to me, marry the woman that he loves.
The most curious thing about it, the best thing, really, was that it was simply that: he married the woman he loves.
Not “loves” [fill in the blank: desperate, fiercely, beyond all measure, outrageously, truly-madly-deeply] — no, very simply, the woman he loves.
And it was refreshing, the ease and the kindness, the gentle confidence and surety.
Do you get that? Do you understand why it is such a wonderful thing to witness, to be able to give my speech of blessing for, to celebrate? An easy, kind, and gentle love. A love that is born of comfort and of confidence. A love that is quiet and speaks but carefully for itself. Just love, real love.
Ah, that is the word: real. Too often, movies and books, poems and Instagram photos – these things tell us that love must have some massive, “awesome” superlative after it, as if simply love were not enough. We are told that we must have fireworks every night, pop rocks in our mouths with every kiss, a dancing, prancing, frolicking skip in every step we take together, as we clutch our fingers tight, sweaty and slippery, madcap in our lustful love for one another.
It is such a lie and I cannot seek those things anymore. I cannot celebrate them.
But, this, a simple, real love, that I can celebrate. They breathe easily together; they laugh; they get irritated, but smooth it down quickly with a glance, with swiftly shared apologies, and they never, ever fight in public (because they do fight, do disagree, but that is a private thing and not to be trotted out like entertainment, like raw meat for those who would feed off of it).
They got it not “right” but right.
He is my little brother, the one I found all of my own, the one who I watched marry the woman he loves yesterday, and today, I look up to him because he has taught me, in his own quiet way, with his own easy actions, exactly what I should focus on as I seek someone who, I hope, one day I will meet, and like, and love.
He has taught me what it looks like to get it right.