To listen to this post, please click here:The Inverse of Spoon
One day last month, while eating a bowl of oatmeal, I slit the inside of my lip.
I felt that infantile fury, shock and unfairness we feel when pain comes out of nowhere, when all ordinary precautions of life have been taken, yet something goes awry. Whole-grain danger? In our very mouths? Looking at the spoon above I understood.
Thirty years ago yesterday, on our wedding day, nestled in a chest with the rest of the set, sat this soup spoon, brand-new. We decided not to save our silver “for good,” but to use it every day. Thirty years spooning oatmeal, chili, soup with this spoon. Thirty years soaping and rinsing and wiping it dry.
I realized we have lived together long enough to wear down our spoons. What cut me was the glorious thinning edge of commitment.
In its capacity to deliver both nourishment and pain, marriage is a knife-edged spoon. But as the gauze of years unwinds, as intention and love become more refined, marriage becomes the inverse of the spoon that bit me.
The knife-edge dulls, subsides to mere accident, like a scratch of your spouse’s unclipped nail. The measure of the bowl expands and deepens, holding and offering health, awareness, joy. A spoon that shines even when empty.
This week my love and I celebrate thirty sterling years of spooning together. While marriage may not be for everyone, we can’t help congratulating and encouraging all the young couples we meet. We’ve become our own proverb–a wish for a long marriage: May your spoons grow thin in your mouths.
If you were a proverb what would it be?