Once upon a time, my love, we believed in fairy-tales. Knights in shining armour on white chargers... dancing and singing in the rain with Gene Kelly in our own musical... a hot air balloon ride off into the sunset [with champagne, of course]. Happily ever after.
And we still believe in those fairy-tales, darling. But we know, now, they are not always so simple.
"Honey, I told you
That these things never last,
And one of these days now
You'll start dreaming of the past
When life was once too short for all the things we'd do and the shots we'd call,
An endless summer without a fall,
When promises were meant to keep,
And nighttime wasn't meant for sleep,
A love story at its peak..."
Sometimes, our love story ends too soon, and not as happily as we hoped.
[Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller announcing their engagement to the press]
[Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller's wedding]
Marilyn Monroe: "I guess I have always been deeply terrified to be someone's wife, since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really."
[Marilyn and Miller towards the end of their marriage]
Listen. It’s morning. Soon I’ll see your hand reach
for my watch, the water will aggitate in the kettle,
but listen. Traffic. I want your dreams first. And
to slide my leg beneath yours before the day opens.
Wait. We slept late. You’ll be moody, the phone
will ring, someone wanting something. Let me put
my hands in your hair. Who I was last night I would
be again. This is how the future holds me, how depression
wakes with us; my body shelters it. Let me
put my head on your breast. I know nothing lasts.
I would try to hold you back, not out of meanness
but fear. Oh my practical, my worldly-wise. You
know how the body falters, falls in on itself. Tell me
that we will never want from each other what we
cannot have. Lie. It’s morning.
But must it always be so, darling?
How do we keep on loving each other, long after the carriage/hot air balloon/magic carpet etc. has carried us beyond the sunset? How do we keep it all from falling apart?
Humbly, simply, one day at a time, I promise I will keep loving you the way I love a sunset:
"People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, 'Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.' I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds."
"We had hoped vaguely to fall in love but hadn’t worried much about it, because we’d thought we had all the time in the world. Love had seemed so final, and so dull — love was what ruined our parents. Love had delivered them to a life of mortgage payments and household repairs; to unglamorous jobs and the fluorescent aisles of a supermarket at two in the afternoon. We’d hoped for a love of a different kind, love that knew and forgave our human frailty but did not miniaturize our grander ideas of ourselves. It sounded possible. If we didn’t rush or grab, if we didn’t panic, a love both challenging and nurturing might appear. If the person was imaginable, then the person could exist."
"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”
"Obviously, I’ve gotten a little grayer since I took this job but otherwise, I feel pretty good. And Michelle, you know, says that, you know, she — she — she still thinks I’m, I’m cute, you know. And I guess that’s — that’s all that matters, isn’t it?”
Let us never give up our faith that it can still be that simple. And that we can still have our ever after [even if it is sometimes frustrating, hilarious and bewildering as well as happy!]...
I will love you in each moment - the way Ethan Hawke loves Juliet Delpy in Before Sunset - because that is all we can do.