The Practice of Love


What does it take to sustain a happy and successful relationship or marriage?


I must begin with an excerpt from a poem by David Whyte:

The Truelove

There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours,
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now…

I believe in faith, deeply.

And in romantic relationships, how is faith exemplified?

What IS the daily “practice” of our unique faith in love? How do we create a “doing”?

On January 1, 2009, I began assessing my New Year’s resolutions. I found many, many issues that needed my refreshed attention…but the one that kept coming to the front of the line was HOW DEEPLY in love I was with my husband and the question of how could I better express and animate my love daily.

My New Year’s answer to this self-reflective dialogue included an invitation, so I said to my husband of many years (lifetimes?),

“Babe, let’s find a moment, daily, to surprise each other with a kiss, a DEEP one.”

This is, after all, where it ALL began, the desire, then the yearning, then the waiting….

I continued,

“And let us each unexpectedly—you or me—plant (definition: set in the ground for growth) a deep kiss. Let’s remember how it began.”

It is as simple as that and it IS as powerful as that, and as simple.

Now, each day we seek and plan, (and sometimes miss—ahhh, LIFE!)

to find the surprise, to seek the unexpected,

to linger in the remembered in a kiss “a thousand kisses deep” (Adam Cohen).

That first kiss can be animated daily. And it does, indeed, still set off the delicious, exquisite realm of possibilities.

For Eros

When you love,
May you feel the joy
Of your heart coming
As your love’s gaze
Lands on your eyes,
Holding them,
Like the weight of a kiss,

May slow sequences
Of kisses discover
Your secret echoes.

– John O’Donohue

And, and, and…

– Excerpt from A Pretty Song

And I say to my heart: rave on.

– Mary Oliver

— Rebeka Sawyer lives on the West Coast with her man of 26 years….and counting (kisses)….