Wednesday, 4 February 2009


“It is not marriage that fails; it is people that fail. All that marriage does is to show people up.” - Harry Emerson Fosdick

I spoke to a friend I hadn’t heard from for quite a few months, today. Life had caused us to drift apart from the time we were at University, but I had been in touch with him on and off throughout the years, had been to his wedding, had met his family, his lovely two children. The marriage had definitely been a love match and the pair was one that gave the impression of a marriage made in heaven. He said to me that he was getting a divorce. I was rather surprised as I thought they were a couple that would age together, still in love in their gray years…

I asked him what had brought them to splitting apart. Had there been affairs? Another man another woman? Did they experience difficulties of any kind? He though a while and in his silence over the telephone I could hear the cogs of his brain turning, engaging, slipping into gears, finally causing him to whisper quietly, somewhat at a loss:
“Well, you know, nothing happened… Nothing happened, anymore. It kind of fizzled out, it died a slow death, not with a bang but with a whimper…”

How many of us develop a relationship and tie a knot around it firmly, securely, seemingly to last forever. And yet in how many cases that knot is severed, or carefully cut… In how many cases one of the partners deftly slips out of it, stealthily, with an imperceptible facility … And in how many cases the knot simply frays, the silken rope fades, ages, turns to dust and crumbles, as it did in this case! The words uttered quietly by my friend inspired me to write this poem:

As Time Passes

As time passes, I remember how:
We used to share a single bed
And laugh as we squeezed so close together
That our breaths would synchronise;
And our hearts would beat in syntony,
As each heartbeat would fall into the other.

As time passes, I remember how:
Our hands would clasp each other
And through the sense of touch our souls
Would mingle through the skin;
And our chemistries would share reactions
In the test tubes of our sweaty palms.

As time passes, I remember how:
We would share a simple meal
And the food was made delicious
As we poured happiness on it –
Better than the richest sauce,
Our joy, a condiment better than the rarest spice.

As time passes, I remember how:
Our lips would thirst for kisses ceaselessly
And our mingling breaths would communicate
Our innermost desires, our thoughts, our hopes…
Our eyes, though closed, would clearly
See into the depths of each other’s soul.

Now, we share the broad expanse of a large bed
And touching is rarely anything but accidental.

Now, our hands may hold each other every once in a while,
But our dry palms are arid places for the excursions of our souls.

Now, every meal a rich repast: Caviar, champagne…
But we may as well be eating cardboard.

Now, our lips are locked closed, imprisoning our souls,
And our eyes wide open, barely acknowledge each other’s presence
When circumstances would have us pretend to kiss…

No comments:

Post a Comment