“…No need 2 worry
No need 2 cry
I’m your messiah and you’re the reason why…
…I’m not a human
I am a dove
I’m your conscious
I am love
All I really need is 2 know that
U believe…” – Prince
I thoroughly enjoy Prince– as in the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince– so it is no surprise that when the officiant at a wedding I attended two days ago talked about dying for love, the lyrics of Prince’s catchy song, I Would Die 4 U pulsed through my head like a snare drum. Perhaps there is something blasphemous about humming an artist as salacious as Prince while a pastor invokes the Christian idiom of Christ’s death on the cross as a charge to a soon-to-be newlywed couple to love each other enough to die for one another.
Still, Prince’s parole, just like the pastor’s speech, references a/the messianic death that is the result of passionate love. Christ, in Christianlore, died at Cavalry because of his incandescent love for humanity and in so-doing set us free. If “God is love” then it is love that sacrifices itself for our freedom and Maya Angelou must be right: “…it is only Love/ which sets us free”. In a similar, yet more (or equally, depending on your belief) symbolic way, the couple was asked to die for each other everyday. I understood this admonishment to mean the sacrificing of the self for love: that the daily death of the “I” and of “I-ness”, the “asmita“, is that which gives the “us” wings with which to soar. What a simple and frankly hackneyed notion. Yet, the biblical reference gave the idea renewed potency. What imbues any relationship, romantic or otherwise, with everlasting life, is allowing the “I” to perish with every breath. The crucifixion of the ego is then the ultimate act of love, and from that death blossoms beauty unbounded.
Congratulations Dr and Mrs. Essel, on your beautiful union. Here are a few quick shots my date for the day, a friend with whom I was flower girl in a wedding in 1989 (!), took with my phone.
What I Wore: Tracey Reese dress, Christian Louboutin “Lady Peep” pump, Kenneth Jay Lane earrings and bracelet, Céline “Audrey” sunglasses, Anthony David clutch