Everything I know about love


This morning I married a couple in a truly exquisite apartment in Mutual Heights in the middle of town. The couple – even better than the apartment. Only their mothers were with them. Their mothers were the ring bearers; their mothers threw basmati rice over them at the end of the ceremony; and their mothers were their witnesses.

I decided on which reading to do in the ceremony after meeting them. It begins, “this is everything I have to tell you about love” and then the bride, Sarah finished the sentence, “nothing“. She explained that her friend had sent her a voicenote last night, reading the piece and that had been the first time she’d ever heard it. Today was the second.

I took this photo on my phone while I mosied around the apartment, admiring it, after the signing.

(You may not be able to read the writing so here is a close up).

This afternoon I took Kit to the Camps Bay tidal pool. There, she collected shells for a girl of about 8 who lay across a giant blowup swan. The girl would decide whether she liked the shells or not (she had another minion, older than her, also collecting shells). The only known parameters for the shells were that they needed to be white or blue (beautiful brown shell? Don’t even bother). This requirement proved tricky to explain to Kit. I helped Kit along by handing her appropriate shells. Some were nevertheless rejected. Absolutely no leeway was granted for the fact that Kit is 14 months old. Swan girl either liked the shell or she didn’t – it didn’t matter who handed it to her; it didn’t matter if it met the brief. I respect that.

At the tidal pool, I got to swim too. I waded into the water, lifted Kit up in my arms and went under. Kit thought this quite funny.

This evening I got to sit on the couch with my wife.

Just before bed I had to trek to the garage to get my dodgy phone charger cord that has a USB (because I couldn’t use my normal charger because loadshedding and because, infuriatingly, my Samsung charger has some ‘fancy’ port – if that’s the right term – that is not a USB and so can’t fit into our inverter, which is not an inverter, it’s some small box that I forget the name of but keeps our wifi going). Point is, to get to the garage, I had to cross the courtyard where I looked up to a clear sky and Orion’s Belt.

It was a good day.


P.S Maybe some of you haven’t read Neil Gaiman’s piece of writing before. For your convenience (as we used to write in corporate) please find it herewithbelow.

All I Know About Love by Neil Gaiman

This is everything I have to tell you about love: nothing.
This is everything I’ve learned about marriage: nothing.

Only that the world out there is complicated,
and there are beasts in the night, and delight and pain,
and the only thing that makes it okay, sometimes,
is to reach out a hand in the darkness and find another hand to squeeze,
and not to be alone.

It’s not the kisses, or never just the kisses: it’s what they mean.
Somebody’s got your back.
Somebody knows your worst self and somehow doesn’t want to rescue you
or send for the army to rescue them.

It’s not two broken halves becoming one.
It’s the light from a distant lighthouse bringing you both safely home
because home is wherever you are both together.

So this is everything I have to tell you about love and marriage: nothing,
like a book without pages or a forest without trees.

Because there are things you cannot know before you experience them.
Because no study can prepare you for the joys or the trials.
Because nobody else’s love, nobody else’s marriage, is like yours,
and it’s a road you can only learn by walking it,
a dance you cannot be taught,
a song that did not exist before you began, together, to sing.

And because in the darkness you will reach out a hand,
not knowing for certain if someone else is even there.
And your hands will meet,
and then neither of you will ever need to be alone again.

And that’s all I know about love.


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