Since words tend to fail me at such occasions, I simply kissed her. But I did say later that I felt it was appropriate now, because I had come to realize that none of my additional marriages had invaded, or did invalidate, any of my other marriages, but had always added to them a new dimension; a new glow.
"Also, we do have a responsibility to acknowledge the truth," I added. "This means that we must make the acknowledgment today, even though the bond between us existed for all those years already. Didn't Steve say that the original Decalogue in the German translation demands that one honor this bond, so that one won't brake it? It is therefore never too late to acknowledge that, which is honorable."
"Do you realize what this means?" she asked.
"It means, that when our marriage ceremony finally takes place, the ceremony won't create a union that didn't exist before, as the traditional marriage ceremonies are indented to do. Instead, our ceremony becomes merely a joyous acknowledgement that finally reflects what has already been established as an undeniable reality."
I suggested that we could have that ceremony at any time. We could have it right at this moment in the plane, if we wanted to, or at one of the small airfields where the plane stops long enough for people to get out and have something to eat. "The next such stop should be somewhere after Lensk," I said to Ushi. "What more do we need for a formal celebration than a down to earth atmosphere, some food and a drink, and music in the background and lots of people around?"
Her smile became brighter. "Yes, let's celebrate our union at one of those far away, small places in the open countryside," she agreed.
"A place where they serve cabbage, sausages, potatoes, apple wine and beer, were there is laughter and music?" I continued the thought.
"I wouldn't have it at any other place," she said and grinned, "than having it at the grass roots level. Where else should a marriage ceremony take place that represents the principles of universal unity that has to be, and has been, discovered from the ground up?"
I agreed with her that this was the ideal place for it.
So it came to be that we said our vows to each other over a plate of steaming cabbage, sausages, and potatoes. It turned out that what we said to each other was as plain and as profound as the food was that we shared. While the words merely reflected what had already been a reality for a dozen years, they carried a poetry that was new, that sprang from an advanced realization.
The magic of the moment reflected the light of our reaffirmed love. It echoed the profundity of us finally stating to one another what should have been said, with all honesty, a dozen years earlier.
"To be absolutely honest, I did feel as though we had been married to one another when we met that day in Cozumel," I said to Ushi while we ate. "I felt so close to you, even then. I felt as if we had known each other for all of our life. I felt that we shared something that was deeply human, that reflected both of our humanity. I felt that we belonged together, and always had. I felt this way right at the docks. Seeing you was like being touched by a beautiful warm wind. Compared to what we shared on that higher level that we had committed ourselves to, to build our lives on, everything that had happened during the conference in Sukhumi appeared dull and lifeless, even the bright parts of it. In Sukhumi nothing had been moving ahead. Everything had been encumbered by limits and barriers that everyone beat their head against and had dreamed of stepping beyond. But never happened. Everyone was fighting on the same level on which the problems were created. Then I saw you, standing at the docks. You represented a totally different world. Indeed, you were from a different world. We lived in a different world from that moment on. There were no barriers between us. I felt so close to, that I wanted to crawl right into you."
"I know, Peter. What a compliment that was!"
"I nearly did, you know, symbolically anyway."
"Why didn't you do it, Peter? Why did you stop short of that symbolism?"
"Why? Because we are often too scared to trust the universal Principle of Love. When I saw you, I wasn't surprised to feel the way I did, to feel so close and so embraced by your love. I suppose I expected that, because of the principles that we shared. That made our meeting almost predictable, and I wasn't disappointed, but I wasn't prepared for the surprise that unfolded when I saw you standing there, waiting for me. I suppose that is why Love is called an infinite Principle. That surprise was like a fire, and that fire never subsided. I don't think Steve had any idea of the range of what he was referring to when he said that morning in Leipzig that Love unfolds in the 'complex domain,' and really nowhere else. The concept of marriage just didn't seem to a part of that domain. It seemed to be a relic from a lower level. In a scientific sense, I suppose, we had actually been more deeply married than most married people regard themselves. But ultimately, we can only be married to God, to our humanity, and thereby to each other. This can only unfold universally. This recognition brings marriage into the complex domain, as Gauss had called the domain where we begin to see with the mind the higher reality of principles that the senses can never behold, that they can only behold by their effect when we allow the substance of these principles to become real in our life."
"So you agree that we had been married to each other even then, on a lateral basis," said Ushi.
"On a universal lateral basis, yes. Yes, I knew that, I just couldn't acknowledge it then. It didn't know how to," I replied. "I was used to seeing marriage as some kind of a 'vertical' relationship. I saw it in terms of the Byzantine model, a kind of top down interrelationship, not the wide open, all-embracing lateral relationship that it really was. I couldn't see us married in a 'vertical' relationship. No way! That door was closed. That wouldn't have worked anyway. That's why I didn't see the marriage that you had offered."
"But none of that really matters now," said Ushi. "It doesn't change the reality, or alter the principle involved."
"It wouldn't have changed the reality then, either," I replied. "You've been in my heart and soul ever since the day we met, which has made my life richer. This was something real that I could feel and acknowledge. But marriage? The infinite concept hadn't been developed. It is usually seen as something smaller that pertains to the economy of running a household, of getting along, of raising children, of living with one another day by day.
"That still applies," said Ushi, "except not in such a small way. The family that we have become a part of is larger. The sphere of our concerns is still the same in principle. It is only wider in its application. Do you remember that I invited you to share in that larger concern when I raised the issue about having a baby in the shadow of a possible nuclear war? That was an honest invitation. I wanted you to feel that it could have been your baby, as it could have been indeed. That door had been open. It still is. Also, the question is still open of how we can best enrich our world with life. In a very real sense, the place that we live in day by day, is the world. The world is our home, and we have a responsibility to make it as rich and as human, and as beautiful as we can, and protect that world from thieves and vandals. If we embrace each other in our self-love for our common humanity, we must embrace the world that is a part of that humanity which we share. So you see, we are married to each other even in the traditional sense, only in that larger sphere. The larger sphere reflects the higher platform of our marriage, the universal marriage of humanity, the infinite marriage that all lesser forms are symbolic of. As we connect laterally in the overflow of our self-love, or love for our humanity, the humanity that we all share, then we find that this love cannot revert back to the small word. That step would invalidate everything."
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