Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Locket Full of Moonlight (and Casual Reprise) - SQOTW

"Her words they held the scent of roses
She was the love of Christ and the law of Moses
It poses many, many questions but suggestions flood the night
They're pouring forth from your locket full of moonlight"

-- excerpt from Locket Full of Moonlight, Bill Mallonee

Falling in love. Not necessarily loving, but falling in love. What an intoxicating, addictive feeling that we get from absolutely nothing else in life. The sun's shining bright in those days. Everything she does is golden. If the rest of life is going to be like this, then she's the one.

I may not be sure of what Bill Mallonee meant by his "locket full of moonlight" metaphor, but I can tell you what it means to me. It's that spirit part of someone else's soul - more than their personality or the personna they give off. The creative, vibrant, tender, and sweet part of a person that exudes simply from living who they are. Their wonderfulness as God's created being. And boy can it shine. Here's a couple more lines from the next verse:

"I've spoken about a self I hardly know
And I can live with that, if it's that self you'll hold"

When we're first falling, that "locket-full"enraptures us, and suddenly we find ourselves doing, feeling, and saying crazy things. We don't even know why we're acting this way, but that's okay if she'll still spend those precious moments of life with us. And then there's that needy part of ourselves that wants to hear that the awesome person that we've fallen for feels the same way we do. Sooner or later, those three words are spilling out.

Can it last? Does it? I think for some people, a version of it does. Especially, and I have no idea how this happens, when two personalties mesh just right. I think it's rare, though. For most, eventually a commitment is made, and perhaps vows to have and to hold, and then you live that union out with moments, for some more than others, of tenderness and sweetness and love combined with burden, giving, compromise, and sacrifice. Or you don't.

Now, I certainly don't want to be misunderstood and be heard to say that marriage is easy or if we just stay committed it gets better or anything that trivializes the pain and suffering that go into break-ups, divorces, or even when we stay in a loveless marriage. For the record, let me just say the opposite's true. It's not easy. It's probably the hardest thing, whether we stick it out or break it off, that any of us will ever do - even in the best of them. But if the marriage wrecks, it's far worse when children are involved. I don't think anyone has to look very far to find that to be true. In just writing this I sort of feel guilty, because these are words on a monitor, and they're going to sound awful hollow to anyone who knows any of the pain of which I write. Love and brokeness are painful and agonizing. Those holes are hard to fill, and yet they're so gaping we want to try. Something's got to fill them.

And we see just how alluring the "locket full" is when we look at a place like Hollywood, where falling in love is "the thing." When that feeling leaves, the relationship's over and a person simply moves on to the next man or woman that gives it to them. But don't think that Hollywood's an island, because most of us -- because we're needy people -- can fall for the siren call of "love." Instead of saying "never" or "it won't happen to me," better just to guard ourselves.

The Locket Full of Moonlight (Casual Reprise) looks back after some years with the same person. It end like this:

"Never underestimate
Distance is a feather or a crushing weight
Somewhere in the darkest night
Lost your locket full of moonlight"

Sometimes that distance is physical, but I think more often and more appropos for most is that it's emotional. What started out as feelings of love and saying crazy things driven by those awesome inner feelings, instead, now you're drawing from wells of bitterness and strife whenever you speak of anything beyond the superficial. It's a haunting number, although beautiful in its own way, because it rings so true for so many people. I hope it's not for anyone reading this.

In the end, it's doubtless better to get words on relationship or marriage advice from Gary Smalley or any number of other counselors in the field than by listening to anything I write. But I'm posting it anyway.


codepoke said...

I sort of feel guilty, because these are words on a monitor, and they're going to sound awful hollow to anyone who knows any of the pain of which I write.

Not a bit of it, brother. Thanks for putting pen to paper again!

If you ever get the chance, you should read or listen to the book, "Blink". It's about knowing everything you need to know about a situation in the blink of an eye. It explains why, and how, and what it feels like. We've all felt it, but he tells us so much about it. It's very cool.

There is a chapter in the book that was so sad I could not even cry over it. It is about a psychologist trying to save marriages. He used a fancy technique that I will not explain to find out that there is one emotion that signals the end of the marriage.


When one party begins to hold the other in disdain, it is over. The focus of the book is that you can know a marriage is over in a blink, but for our purposes it is the marriage that matters. If you want to understand a friend's divorce, the only question you need to ask is, "When did she start despising you?" (or vice versa.)

It is crushing to either party. It was awful to know that the person who meant the most to me in the world did not even respect me enough to hate me any more. About 10 years before, I had been tempted to the same feelings toward her, and they were awful, too. With Christ, all things are possible, though. I found in Him the heart to respect my wife again, and fell back in love with her. She had no Lord on which to lean.

If someone else reading this fears for their marriage, find respect. Love will follow.

(I guess this is another of my comments that belongs in the TMI category. I hope you don't mind.)

Rich said...


Thanks so much for sharing. I'll never mind, and I don't have a TMI category. That's Ken's joke for my stuff, and sometimes I do get a bit carried away.

But although we try to entertain to some degree to keep things fun and lighthearted around here, if we're not connecting with other people on some level(s) (and sometimes it's humor, sometimes it's things in common, sometimes literary, but sometimes it's in pain or brokeness) then everything we're doing is a waste. It's the same with our novel writing.

I'll look into "Blink." At least I'll try to keep it in my mind when I head into a bookstore (who is the author?). I've posted before about how backlogged I am in my reading, so you know how that goes. Still, that when one party begins to hold the other in disdain, it is over rings true to me, but like you also stated, with Christ, all things are possible.