Fresh love/vintage love

Snapping memories onto indelible film.  A camera lens: a window into other worlds of emotion.  She squints through the viewfinder and her subjects snuggle, oblivious.  New love: expectation, promise, passion yet unfulfilled, a dawn of something, a birth, poised to become one.  That new love is so sweet - buds on the grapevines, juice in the glasses, sugar on the lips and joy to the heart.  Weddings have always struck me as only important to those being wed - for others an excuse to visit and dance.  A social custom that I've found rather baffling - a custom that frightened me as I approached the age when such a thing might happen to me.  Yet here they were - this couple - a rockstar and an artist, the life of the party and the introvert, standing submissively before the lens in those hours I observed this tableau.  My dear friend, the photographer.  Other dear friends, the subjects.

The photographer ran out of film.  Her husband - assistant - rushed to her, new camera at the ready, more film in a pocket, anticipating her wishes and fulfilling them before they were spoken.  Mature love: covenant, passion fulfilled, midday in full sun, dreams fruited, two-become-one.  Actions of love like grapes ripening on the vine, the promise of the wine still to come, the fruit visible and the air scented with it.  The sweetness of the juice that was new love has ripened to wine, with undertones and topnotes and layers of flavor that weren't there when it was fresh-squeezed.  I remember learning Greek words for love as a child, sitting silent in church with my King James Bible on my knee and my pen racing over notebook pages: eros (έρως) or philia (φιλία) on the one side - the human side.  Natural, emotional, discriminatory, conditional, pleasurable, delightful, failing human love.  On the other side, agape (αγάπη) - the learned, volitional, unconditional, precious, esteeming, prizing, "in spite of", unfaltering love.  Agape is the love I only had a hint of on my wedding day.  My wedding day was mostly eros - passion - with a sprinkling of inkling that agape would necessarily come as the days passed and we failed each other.  My wedding day was a willingness to embark on agape love.

What I see in this photo is willingness on one side and experience on the other.  One couple content to adore and experience physical closeness.  One couple serving, working together, esteeming.  I don't know what would have happened if the roles were flipped - the young couple behind the camera and those married for years posing in front of it.  But the beautiful juxtaposition of what it means to be married one hour or for more than a decade is such an amazing picture of how we learn love as we honor the covenant.

I never thought I’d get this old dear
Never had a reason to live so long
And the Lord’s been like my shadow
Even when I was wrong
No I never thought it would turn out this way

So sing with me softly
As the day turns to night
And later I'll dream of paradise with you
I love you and good night
~Anniversary Song, Katie Melua