Vows of Love

This is dedicated to my wife, Jung Eun Kim.

What Janet vowed

Jamie. Liebling.

Here before God and our witnesses I make my wedding vows to you so you might keep them in your heart.

I vow to be your helpmeet; your companion on our journey together in this life; your soft shoulder; your fellow worker. In whatever you undertake, I will endeavour to be supportive, encouraging, and constructive; I am your champion.

I vow to be mindful that I am a child of God, created in His image, and will guard my soul, heart and mind in order to be worthy of that status. Whatever is true, noble, just, pure, authentic, praiseworthy, and full of grace, these are what I will fill my mind with and meditate on.

I vow to be a mother for Kate and Emma in every respect, adding my love for them to your own, caring for their welfare and well-being, sharing in our joys and challenges as parents together.

And most of all, I vow to love you—the you created also in God’s image, the unique and ineffable combination of atoms whose variety and depth delight me—and to whose side I will cling all the days of my life.

What Jamie vowed

Jung Eun. Janet

Here before God and our witnesses I make my wedding vows to you so you might be mindful of them and draw strength from them;

I vow to love, honour and cherish you
always and in these ways:

With my love, to attend to your needs,
not waiting to be asked
nor acting without understanding,
but always with humility and respect,
my love strengthening in seeking to know you.

Honouring you, not doubting you
even when I’m in the dark;
speaking of you with wonder
encouraging you always
to become the self you desire.

I vow to cherish you and all that means
to return to the gift you are to me
to value your presence
to show gratitude even when
and especially when my thoughts are unworthy.


Loving, honouring and cherishing
I will be the best husband I can be:
So I vow today in asking you to be my wife.

Exulting in My Wife

Exulting is everywhere in song, but not in simple black and white. Those vows were shared first in front of two dozen family members in a simple, civic space; and again in Janet’s church, months later, sacred and celebratory—and wildly hopeful.

It’s been more than a month since the church ceremony and I’m pleased to find my heart more full and to have had an insight: “wife” is an excellent concept!

I hadn’t thought of it that way. I’d thought of “wife” as a word with a touch-too-formal aura of legalese about it. The legalese is necessary and good in its way but “wife” hardly covered the relationship.

Call me thick or a pinhead but it took me that long to figure out that a wife is an excellent concept. My wife brings me great joy. Need I add that my greatest joy is in making her laugh—“’cause I can watch you smile at the same time…”.


Another RWT Observation

The Plot Thins

After a prolonged blazing affair, Nicole[1] knew how to go for his jugular in the way most likely to get her what she sought.

Thus are heros born!

Nicole wasn’t going to be bought, nor did she seek to benefit in any way from what had been pleasurable for both herself and Sir Paul. Au contraire, Nicole sincerely sought something she knew would be cosmically beneficial to McCartney, i. e., a release from any guilt. All he had to do for her was to record a song to beg forgiveness for behaving “like a dust-bin lid” (read, “Asshole”).

Alas, though the recording was made, in accord with Nicole’s wishes, P. M. had the last laugh. Yes, the singing, music and lyrics cover all as per contract, but underlying the contract was an excusable—if costly—error of judgement, in Paul’s wease-ly favour, by Nicole: she thought that getting the song out would prove his sincerity.

Paul already had all he needed to fail Nicole’s trust: his shame and the concomitant determination to obliterate it. Add to that his knowledge of musical production—of such intimacy it was an easy game for him to remix for the actual release, tweaking some knobs in the mixing process so as to make all the fine words sound forced. Rest assured, they were.

Technically, Nicole heard and approved a mix made to sound the way she wanted. Technically, the same recording was used to make a new mix, this time with Paul’s vocals processed to sound irritating beyond the merely unprofessional: it sounds as if it was screwed up on purpose—as indeed, it was.

There’s no way that version’s gettin’ any airing much beyond another courtroom.

But why would Nicole care enough to bother engaging him again? Certainly not to prove something or to win something publicly. “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” And, like another favourite saying, “Bad behaviour is its own punishment.”

With sincere respect for Paul McCartney, AKA “Sir Paul”. The Plot Thins is fiction.

[1] Real name, unknown

How to Blow Away Someone Who’s Stealing Your Love


First, Recognize the Problem. This basic step is usually a major hurdle for those who love in vain. Even when the object of one’s affection gives clear signs that they have no love to give, it’s typical for the foolish love to discount such evidence—after all, recognizing the problem is the first step in blowing away someone who’s stealing your love.

Second, Don’t Look Back. The foolish heart is sentimental—perhaps even masochistic—and tends to soften its resolve when the love object displays behaviour designed to keep the affection that has cost so little. Respect yourself for taking positive, liberating action, and remember: you’re blowing away someone who’s been stealing your love.

Third, once you’ve recognized the problem and weathered the emotional winds of change generated by your follow-through, Learn a Lesson. The satisfaction of knowing you’ve learned something will go a long way toward making you feel better about being such a fool in the first place; you can honestly say, “At least I got something out of this!” Blowing away someone who’s stealing your love will probably lead to a host of emotional benefits, but it’s useful to pin down at least one lesson as a “keeper”.

Proofreading Test/July 1990


“Niagara Falls is too corny for words, but it’s totally appropriate for what we’re doing,” she said to the slim brunette beside her on the bus.

“Oh, I know, a singles weekend in a romantic old hotel with a dozen eligible men, it’s so, I don’t know, exciting! Actually, I met my last husband on a trip like this, only it was to Buffalo. I guess I should’ve picked a more romantic tour.”

Daynah Elisis winced at the woman’s bluntness. She had never been part of a group who willingly labelled themselves “singles”, and hoped this conversation wasn’t a taste of things to come.

Daynah’s practical side had put her here. She wanted an out from the endless unsolicited matchmaking inflicted on her by well-meaning friends and loved ones. She didn’t want to become a man-hunter, either. That left the scientific approach: organized, orderly singles affairs—such as this one, called Falling in Love—done in a low-key, tasteful way.

“So it’s corny, that’s part of the fun of it.” The woman’s high, musical voice drew Daynah’s attention again. “My last husband always said you can’t really dig into anything until you start calling a spade a spade….”

Daynah had to smile. More wincing at the woman’s flamboyance would make no impression on her, and besides—she was right.

Daynah had asked for this, she supposed, by not having the nerve to sit beside the extremely rugged and handsome-looking man two rows ahead. He had smiled at her and motioned to the seat beside him—what possessed her to move on and mumble that lie about “sitting with a friend”?

Two seats directly ahead of her, a bemused Chuck Resno wondered the same thing. That willowy blonde was a knockout, her voluptuousness barely concealed by the tastefully cut shorts and blouse whose delicate hues accented her flawless, healthy skin tones. Her brief, wide-eyed glance had held a powerful mix of challenge and vulnerability in its emerald depths that had left his heart unexpectedly, uncontrollably erratic.

Her voice filtered through the seats between them, an assured, throaty purr. Her conversation was friendly enough, but it was obvious to Chuck the other woman was a new acquaintance, not a friend. No, the “friend” line was a barely-concealed cold shoulder.

Chuck’s professionalism clicked into play. As a reporter, probing beneath surfaces was instinctual. But as a man, he had to admit that sultry woman aroused questions of an excitingly personal nature. Lucky for me, he thought with a wry grin as he slitted steel-blue eyes into the lowering sun, I just found the perfect woman to base my story on.

By the time the Falling in Love singles had de-bussed and found their rooms in the Early American cosiness of the Jolly Porter Lodge, there were at least two of their number whose jitters had been soothed by an executive decision—who they’d try to meet, and why. Neither knew it , of course, but, by luck or fate, Daynah and Chuck had become each others’ secret mission.

Meeting You


Shall we kiss when we meet? I mean deeply, romantically, with utter abandon. That’s what I want, but then again not, because meeting you is such a strange situation and experience tells me that so much depends on the first encounter. Without either of us planning anything, our first words and gestures inevitably set a tone. We lead ourselves into small commitments, second by second, ones we’ll likely never have the wit or time to examine.

I admit to a penchant for narcissism; it’s inevitable if one tries to live an examined life or, better, an artistic life—and self-awareness is a strong predictor of success in the sort of relationship I want to co-create. I state this knowing the risk of offending you by appearing controlling, because I trust you’re wise enough to know the opposite is true: from your own experience, you must know that to try to love is to be vulnerable above all else, to submit. Hence the kissing, which reveals such paradoxical giving and taking.

Rationalizing is more narcissistic than kissing. Let’s keep the intellect free to do the sparring and exploring without letting it defend us too well. Brains can help us keep our balance on the tightrope of romantic love, and commitment has a legalistic aspect, but it’s really a bargain of the heart that we make with blind hope in a beautiful outcome. Those small commitments reveal intentions but also doubts; loving—paying attention—is mutually reassuring.

So foundations are built together. What expectations will they be called on to support? Back to kissing, again and again. I’m romantic and a risk-taker. I can’t say for certain why that’s so, or if events will bend me to another way; it’s a dance, so my energy ebbs and flows. Mysteriously, with delicate, precise power, love rejuvenates me. We ask and we receive; giving facilitates awareness because we are sensitive to our lover’s responses.

Look in thy heart…

Astrophel and Stella

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain,—
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,—
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe;
Studying inventions fine her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others’ leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburn’d brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting invention’s stay;
Invention, Nature’s child, fled step-dame Study’s blows;
And others’ feet still seem’d but strangers in my way.
Thus great with child to speak and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite,
“Fool,” said my Muse to me, “look in thy heart, and write.”

– Sir Philip Sidney

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