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Fourteen lines for fifteen years

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Yesterday was Mary Anne's and my fifteenth anniversary. I've been thinking about relationships, and about Wendell Berry's poem “The Country of Marriage,” which I've quoted in the past, and its image of a relationship as involving making new paths each day; that's an image I like a lot, but I also think that the new paths are informed by older ones, that others have been these ways before, or at least ways like them.

So here's an attempt at capturing some of that. I'm not entirely satisfied with it yet, but I think it's time to call it done.

When voyagers begin to share the way,

They meet with sharks and shoals, where seagulls soar,

And dangers and delights alike abound.

The current's ever-shifting, day by day.

We boldly go where none have gone before,

Yet each new landfall finds familiar ground.

Old stories chart our courses. From afar,

We hold horizons steadily in view.

To steer us, toil and tiller, sail and spar,

The captain's compass ever pointing true.

We venture out beyond the farthest star,

To find the known commingled with the new.

The sunrise comes as stars are going dark.

Each day's a new adventure. Let's embark.

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(It may not be obvious, but various aspects of this are references to things related to Mary Anne; for example, she likes Star Trek, she writes stories, she likes sailing, she founded Strange Horizons, and she tends toward captaincy. And she's far more likely to be awake in time for sunrise than I am. And poly relationships are in some ways like any other kind, but in some ways require charting new courses.)


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