Saturday, October 16, 2010


(Image from Jugendherberge)

Some readers will recall the story of how I met my wife on a train. Not like the character in Ionesco's Bald Soprano who meets his wife on a train:
Mr. Martin: Madam, I took the 8:30 morning train which arrives in London at 4:45.

Mrs. Martin: That is curious! How very bizarre! And what a coincidence! I took the same train, sir, I too.
After a series of other bizarre 'coincidences,' e.g., living in the same flat and having a daughter with the same name, they conclude that they are husband and wife:
Mr. Martin: Then, dear lady, I believe that there can be no doubt about it, we have seen each other before and you are my own wife.
One of the other characters in the play does call this 'indubious' conclusion into doubt, but let us leave Mr. and Mrs. Martin happily married, for any state of affairs can be doubted by the most skeptical of skeptics, and if the Martins are not man and wife, then my own 'coincidental' meeting with my wife on a train might not inevitably lead to the conclusion that she is my wife.

But to the best of my memory, I met my wife -- though she was, of course, not yet my wife -- on a train to Lauenberg, Germany, for we were 'coincidentally' headed for the same Naumann-Stiftung orientation seminar to be held at the Zündholzfabrik, or translated into English, the Matchstick Factory. Apparently, matches were once made there.

The place seems to have retained a bit of its productive capacity, for it managed to produce another match, and one quickly struck, too, lighting a fire that still burns 18 years later, so our match must have been fated, designed, even if seen only through a glass, darkly:
At times, that match we kindled sorely sticks,
To burn within our craw, if we eat crow,
But most we glimpse the lines of that fabric's
Uncanny dark design we've sought to know.

We wandered down a street and saw a sign,
You took my hand in yours, to my surprise,
Then let it drop as if disdained design
Were little more than worthless alibis.

But later, when rejoined, that match to bless,
'Twixt two of us, by matchless deity,
That altar was a bloody, lovely mess
For you and me, if devil making three.

Or was it just we two, and no one else,
I and your own, most obscure, secret self's.
The devil's ever in the details, and there are always things to be worked through and out, but our marriage match seems to have been made in the heavens even if necessarily lived down to earth.

My "aye" and her "aye" in the "I do, I do" of marriage, and this has been a "Poetry Break" for the apple of my eye, who will understand it even when no one else does . . .

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At 2:26 PM, Anonymous dhr said...

All the best, and still better! It's rare, and wonderful, to find a blog where the moderator dedicates posts to his wife.

My wife Paola aka Micetta (Kitty) and I also met at a lecture, et voilà!

It was October 10, 2005: we just celebrated the 5th anniversary, since that date is more important to us than the wedding itself.

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Congratulations on your encounter with your wife.

As for us, we celebrate both our fated meeting and our chosen nuptials.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:57 PM, Anonymous dhr said...

As for us, we celebrate both our fated meeting and our chosen nuptials

We have a mid-term celebration too!! We got married on July 29, and there's a civil holiday in this town on January 29, with a special cake, so we have a double reason to.

At 3:04 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Our marriage was in a rural Ozark church -- lovely wooden architecture with a large hole in the floor. A reminder that even in a beautiful marriage, one must take care!

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 4:31 PM, Anonymous dhr said...

Funny, and therefore meaningful.

Ours took place in a small Medieval city hall room.

In spring we'll have a religious wedding too, you know, otherwise - according to the Catholic Church - she cannot do this, she cannot get that... But, privately, closed doors. Looks like they're far more tolerant with Mafia killers.

At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the poem. Matchsticks and all. But as I "initially" understood the train-trip there was something about a woman's better half of the brain kicking in?

Do I have a problem with "poetic license?"

I used to think I did. Very strange post here Jeff, in a sorta/kinda coincidental kinda/sorta kind of way... it would appear (no, "appear" is not the precise word) anyway, ol' JK (who must now appear far more inclusive on my once and again future Uncle Cran's Marryin' Dutiful's (it is definitively appearing, appears to be getting hitched despite some 10 years of dis-service to the better community).

Ordnarally speaking, I'd never announce such a thing on record - but her Dad's a Sheriff's Deputy in the County in which my P.O. Box is listed.

Anyway - despite some promises to the contrary - (I mean it's been since '98 ol' JK's been singularized [and wondering how to go about litigating a deceased M.D. over a seemingly botched vasectomy - & may need a reference for a dead lawyer] - I have been ""instructed" requested to make a wedding announcement on the World-Wide Web.

I said I would do so and since this was the venue I made my first appearance on the WWW, I figgered it only befitting and proper I do it here.

Wish me luck Jeff - here in the US they've now got a 3-strikes law.

On the bright side, we're both over 45.

...And with age comes wisdom... Jeff? If you know a dead lawyer specializing in sueing dead doctors, I'd appreciate a cancelled phone number.

My eldest kid is gonna kill me.

Anyway, wedding gifts should probably be in the form of Chicago Board of Trade commodities or gold bullion.

JO? If you read this, (I'm thinking the best place for the ceremony would be at your house) I purchased a burial plot pretty close.

But she is gorgeous. And all I had to do on the pre-nup was sign my name. I didn't even have to put my bi-focals on.


At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A church with a "hole in the floor?"

Where was that?

GPS coordinates please.


At 7:28 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Dario, you must realize that you're far more dangerous than the Mafia. The Catholic Church understands loyalty oaths. It's free thinking that poses the real danger.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:31 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Good luck, JK, in whatever your endeavor . . . and as for the 'holey' church, it's somewhere between Bexar and Byron.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:31 PM, Anonymous dhr said...

you must realize that you're far more dangerous than the Mafia. The Catholic Church understands loyalty oaths. It's free thinking that poses the real danger

O tempora O mores! It would be wonderful to live in Milton's Era, when free thinkers could--- no, wait, I mean: one century before Milton, when--- one century later, that is--- ok, it was somewhere out there.

Better start running.

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Run free . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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