Samhain

This pagan threshold of the living and the dead is my marker of a New Year begun.
It is also the date that marks the very first vows my wife and I exchanged.  The words of our handfasting were for a year and a day to give ourselves time to reconsider – but I knew as clearly then (11 years ago) as I do now that they are for the remainder of our lives.
I don’t earn as much money as I should, I don’t keep the house as clean and tidy as I could, I recklessly fell in love with someone else, I often cry for no good reason, regularly eat all the cheese and rarely cook but still she loves me.
She spends on fripperies for others and skimps on her own needs, is always losing something about the house, is hopelessly forgiving of her demanding family, has dreadful PMT and steals my chocolate but still I love her.

And so I say again:
I promise to take you as my best friend, and as my lover; to be yours and to keep you in my heart and soul through whatever we may yet live through; to support you, and to protect you – since we are one. I promise to learn to have faith in myself and to not falter in my trust of you and I promise to listen, and to give, so that together we can be strong. Lastly, I vow to live every day in consciousness of this gift and to remember and thank-you for our love.
And 
everyday I choose you, choose to spend the rest of my life with you. I take you as my wife, my friend and my lover, through the bad times and the good- through every twist of our lives. I promise you my respect and my trust, I promise to share my hopes and my dreams and to offer you my strength and my care.

Darling wife, you have ridden with me through the storms of our depressions and put aside your fear to live with my polyamory and I feel so privileged and so humbled by your love – tell me how to show you my joy and trust in you, how to demonstrate my love and trust in you. Together we are stronger than any storms, together we can face the unknown and build our dreams, even if we have to leap into the unknown. I will always be yours. Ta ghra agam duit my wolf

Outside the sanctuary I would pray for her, and to the last I shall continue to seek her.
From her blossoming to the ripening of her grape my heart has taken its delight in her. My foot has pursued a straight path, I have sought her ever since my youth.
By bowing my ear a little, I have received her, and have found much instruction.
Thanks to her I have advanced; glory be to Him who has given me wisdom!
For I was determined to put her into practice, have earnestly pursued the good, and shall not be put to shame.
My soul has fought to possess her, I have been scrupulous in keeping the Law; I have stretched out my hands to heaven and bewailed how little I knew of her;
I have directed my soul towards her, and in purity I have found her; having my heart fixed on her from the outset, I shall never be deserted;
my very core having yearned to discover her, I have now acquired a good possession.

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Another Year

Yesterday marked 5 years with B.
(Happy Anniversary my Love)

Soon it will be 12 years since I left home for university and a little later in the year 11 since I made my commitment to W.
It seems almost unimaginable how much my life has developed and changed in those 5 years and in the 7 before that.

A civil-partnership, a house, a doctorate. 2 strong, committed and positive relationships.
What did I do right?

Lucky Me.

 

10 Years

The Handfasting

Alone, awesome, complete within Herself, the Goddess, She whose name cannot be spoken, floated in the abyss of the outer darkness, before the beginning of all things. And as She looked into the curved mirror of black space, She saw by her own light her radiant reflection, and fell in love with it. She drew it forth by the power that was in Her and made love to Herself. Her ecstasy burst forth in the single song of all that is, was, or ever shall be, and with the song came motion, waves that poured outward and became all the spheres and circles of the worlds All began in love; all seeks to return to love. Love is the law, the teacher of wisdom, and the great Revealer of mysteries.

[Mr. C.] We have come here today on the sacred feast of change and new beginning to celebrate the great immutable of love. We shall witness the union of W and Koll.  This rite celebrates their love and commitment.

[W] I promise to treat you with loving respect to cherish you as my dearest friend and truest companion. I promise to keep you safe and hold you in my arms. I promise to remedy my own mistakes but not to dwell on them, to try to readily forgive both you and myself. I promise to defend and support you and to accept your love and support. I will walk beside you on our path, but I will not try to choose for you, nor ask you to make my decisions for me. I vow to communicate even my inmost self to you and grow in trust and love, from this day forth. Finally, I promise to let our love inform all my actions so that it may be a joy to all who meet us.

[Koll] I promise to take you as my best friend and as my lover, to be yours and to keep you in my heart and soul through whatever we may yet live through, to support you and protect you since we are one. I promise to learn to have faith in myself and to not falter in my trust of you and I promise to listen and to give so that together we can be strong. Lastly I vow to live every day in consciousness of this gift and to remember and thank-you for our love.

(A blessing is given – in the form of prayers and whisky)

[Mr. C] I will now wind the ribbon around your joined hands to symbolize your union.
Once for the Maiden, once for the Mother, and once for the Crone

[Each partner says in turn:] The light of the Goddess within me recognizes and loves the Goddess within you.

[Mr. C] May you hold your mutual well-being foremost in your hearts and minds. You are now wedded in the sight of the Gods, and those gathered here who represent your community until Lughnasadh when if the Gods are willing and you have the desire to do so you will renew this vow. You may kiss to seal your pledge.

Anniversaries, Sharing and feeling like a fraud

In case I haven’t mentioned.. this summer I went on holiday with both W & B (and very nice it was too). This is a bit of a change from the last couple of years where I have had the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks with B while W visits the smother; going away for our anniversary and separately going away with W for ours.
I find myself torn – I adore exploring places and spending time away from daily life with my loves, I would spend more time with both of them together if I could; but on the other hand each of them deserve time on their own, time especially for them. I know that W particularly needs the sense of things that are unique to us as a couple and I know that B especially values nights he & I spend together since they are rare.
So how do I make each of our anniveraries special, make everyone feel appreciated, and still get to enjoy time together?

On the subject of anniversaries…- anyone ever feel like they are gilding the lily? I celebrate a minimum of 3/year. W & I celebrate our 1st handfasting (Oct 31st – will be 10yrs this one coming) And our legal commitment (May 1st3yrs just gone). And of course I try to celebrate a date with B too; we chose Aug 21st as an arbitrary we-started-our-relationship-on-this-day date (though it would be fair to say any time in the fortnight before or after that might be a plausible suggestion) and this year makes 4. I also tease him that our ‘wedding’ date is my birthday the following year on the basis it was the date his former fiancee wanted to get married and I rescued him from that foolishness…
Thats a lot of special days for each other and time for hols. But how can you ask your friends to shell out for cards on that many dates or even remember?

So if anniversaries feel like an unnecessary encumberance for one’s mono/straight friends how about the fact that I can’t help feeling like a fraud for not being available. [Incidentally, I do understand that these ideas are not related for most people]. Point being: How is it possible for me to whinge about lack of ‘poly’ awareness when I don’t fall into general categories of being open to more relationships? I know that poly doesn’t have to mean sleeping around – but most blogs and websites are dedicated to those looking for more partners. I have to say that though I knew (and admitted) I couldn’t commit to exclusivity  I never looked for anyone. I never meant to fall in love with either one of my partners (in fact in both cases I was avoiding commitment for various reasons) and I can’t imagine having time or energy for anyone else. In that sense I don’t feel ‘poly’: I’m not about openness any more than anything else and I am not defined sexually by the fact I happen to love 2 people (or that they are 2 different genders) – I don’t have a lovestyle, I just love these people. I’m not bisexual or polyamorous – I am in love with W & B, I am w/b-sexual.

Its not true of course there is enough of me to have a political rant, to say we should be allowed to make a family and stand up for just being us. But that dont feel internet.
So Happy Anniversary B my love and good luck to all of us and I hope being an example is enough.

Agricultural Nostalgia

Did I ever tell you that my honeymoon was to an agricultural show?
Yup, thats right I took my wife to a field full of pigs and sheep and tractors. It was glorious. (well except that she was up to her eyeballs in work…)And its a tradition I would love to make more solid.

There is something magical about creating and maintaining traditions as a couple, as a family. Traditions create a bond something shared and recognisable. It creates a connection to past and future – the ability to look back and compare and look forward with anticipation. It gives you rules to break. They can be especially important to ground you when life is hard or unsettled and to help recall things when seizures or time rob people of their memories.

For many families it is the rules of christmas or birthdays that are sacrosanct – my siblings and I, for example, are very attached to stockings and a fry-up, and a break in the middle of dinner for Dr Who; W’s family like to open one present each on christmas eve – but circumstances have not yet allowed us to create those kinds of rituals. Despite being with W for more than 10 years we have only spent 2 christmases together and one of those was with her parents. I have never spent a christmas with B who has worked every one we have been together – I guess I don’t expect to do that any time soon. I do perhaps hope my little family will find something unique.
I think that knowing christmas is a little out of my current league has pushed me to identify things we already do without noticing – to make a fuss about the good and to take an opportunity to revel in the connections. And this weekend has been perfect for that. So Thankyou Manx Loughtan and Thankyou Ninemaidens mead, Thankyou W and Thankyou B. Someday we will all go together and laugh and create a new ritual but everytime I will bring English sparkling wine and W & I will buy too much cheese and do something that is just for us.

Happy Anniversay!

Happy Anniversary Mrs Ulf.

Nine years ago (31st Oct 2002) W & I had a handfasting ceremony in a local graveyard. I remember writing our vows together and gathering a few friends and some whiskey to hear us be joined together – I confess that some of the details now seem hazy – but I know now as then that I want to spend my life with this woman.

Beloved Wife, you give me a reason to get up every morning. I trust you to lift me up and to offer me hope.  I know that you and I can build a whole life and family together; everyday we make this marriage a little better and I am proud to be at your side. Proud even when your mother grinds you down, proud even when you are frightened of the repercussions of holding my hand in the street. You make me feel great and I think you are great. we have worked for this.
Thankyou

In related thoughts.. I wonder what would happen to our family if we had children. Discuss.

 

Anniversary

Happy Anniversary B!

Three years ago we realised that we were more than friends and wanted to share our lives more closely. It was to be a few more months before we were able to discuss our feelings with W but since then we have been lucky to be able to build a life for the three of us.

In the last 3 years we have ridden a few storms and dealt with some pretty horrific emotional struggles but with the help of drugs, therapy, patience and love we have learnt to try to deal with our limitations, to practice talking about our feelings, to ask for what we need and to balance what we want. Now we are able to look to a future we can all share.

I love you both.
Thankyou