If marriage is a grand madness, as discussed in part 1 of this series, then how does one endure it?

Bono has said several times that the reason he has been able to remain faithfully married to his wife Ali for almost 30 years is because he still doesn’t really know her and there’s a creative distance between them that she manages:

Ali is the most extraordinary woman. I still can’t figure her out. I still feel I don’t know her. She’s a very mysterious woman and she’s very independent!

The U2 song A Man And A Woman is about this mysterious distance.

“It’s a song for adults, for people who have been together for a long time and who are still together,” he says.

I could never take a chance
Of losing love to find romance
In the mysterious distance
Between a man and a woman

And you’re the one, there’s no-one else
who makes me want to lose myself
In the mysterious distance
Between a man and a woman

Then there’s the song Mysterious Ways, which celebrates the mystery of woman. Like many of U2’s love songs, it can also be seen as a song to God.

U2 once wrote a song called She’s A Mystery To Me for Roy Orbison. Here’s a video with Bono singing the song. “And if my love is blind/Then I don’t want to see/She’s a mystery to me.

In the book  Achtung Baby, Stephen Catanzarite writes about how if we do not accept that mystery is at the heart of the differing natures of man and woman, then we lose the ability to appreciate the value of those differences. We’re only left with the differences.

He quotes from Frank Sheed’s Theology and Sanity:

Mystery is not…to be thought of as a high wall that we can neither see over nor get around. It is to be thought of rather as a gallery into which we can progress deeper and deeper, though we never reach the end – yet every step of our progress is immeasurably satisfying.

A Mystery, in short, is an invitation to the mind. For it means that there is an inexhaustible well of Truth from which the mind may drink and drink again in the certainty that the well will never run dry, that there will always be water for the mind’s thirst.

Of course not everyone thinks mystery is compatible with intimacy and inevitable conflicts occur (“our heaven turns to hell”). This will be the topic of part 3. Stay tuned.

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