Prayer #63: Mating Season

When the service has ended
And the liquor is drained
And the food's packed as leftovers
And the music's last strain
Fades into memory
Like the flavor of cake --
The newlyweds leave you
Alone in the hall,
Holding a bouquet,
Wondering, is this all
That I'm destined for?
All that I'll earn?
All I look forward to,
All that I'll learn?

But the answers aren't there,
Just heel- and heart-sores
And petals that droop
And drift to the floor.

Prayer #63: Mating Season

What vow are You asking me to take, Lord?

* To love and to cherish till death do us part? [Then who's the other half of "us"?]
* To be obedient, chaste, and poor in religious life? [Then where's stigmata, my proof?]
* To consecrate my single status? [Then why do I feel lonely?]

Most of us have no clue how to answer that question. And in trying to answer it, we only feel more acutely what a rejoicing, sad, confusing, revelatory existence You gave us to stumble through.

Yes, You tell us Your love is enough. Yes, You tell us You are the ultimate partner. But You are not mortal. You are not my lovers. You are not my community. You are not my friends.

Surely these groups -- hallmarks of existence shared, our fellow stumblers manifested -- are divine in their own way. So why not reveal them to us sooner -- and with them, the answer of our vows?