I've seen your flag on a marble arch

Love is not a victory march

It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah!

— Leonard Cohen

Thirty years ago, in the town of Poteau, Oklahoma, a young man married a beautiful princess, and a beautiful princess married a fool. It is a story that has been repeated many times over the centuries.

The fool has, through years of the princesses ministrations, become, not less of a fool, but more aware of his foolishness. As he was entirely ignorant of this fact at the start, there is now hope for him after thirty years. The princess has become not less beautiful but more as the scales have begun to fall from the fool’s eyes.

This is an old, old story. There will be those who disagree (and aren’t there always?) but the Bible depicts Woman as a gift from God to Man. And in my opinion (and there will certainly still be those who disagree), they are a gift we did not merit and have not merited. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

In the creation of the world, God separates in order to create. Go through the account in Genesis sometime and count the number of times “to separate” or “to divide” is used. In the creation of the animals, He made them male and female, and He echoed this in the creation of Woman.

The powers of the world divide us, not in order to create, but in order to better control us. It is political and is about power. I am not political — and this is becoming ever clearer even to the fool that I am — but Man and Woman are not adversaries. We cannot be. It is not a contest where one wins and the other loses. We are to work together.

Even at the times when it looks as if we at odds, we should be like the flying buttresses: pushing in opposite directions but working to hold up the same cathedral.

The birthing and rearing of children, the creation of the next generation is our cathedral.

We’ve built up so many distractions it is hard for us to see this. We’ve got careers. We’ve got images. We’ve got dreams. We’ve gathered toys around us that obscure what we really are. We’ve created this show in our heads that makes us forget. We’ve created it in order to forget.

They say that when a Roman general was given a triumphe and paraded through the city of Rome there was a slave that stood behind him to remind him he was mortal. Mankind needs a servant to whisper something else in his ear: You are an animal.

Religion, among other things, provides this. Actually, I should say the Judeo-Christian tradition does this, as I am so ignorant of the others. We are animals, but we are animals that can scheme and plan and are in constant danger of forgetting we are animals. Well, it’s not a danger any more; we have forgotten and are at work constantly not to be reminded.

But let the servant, the fool, now whisper. We are animals. There are not different rules for us than for anything else. We are aware of our rules, and we can game them, but the rules are not different. A man and a woman make a child. The man and the woman will grow old and die, but the child will continue and so it will be forever. Because when this stops there will be no “ever.” Because when it stops, our story ends.

But as I said, I am a fool, and have proven it by even bringing this up.

So Happy New Year to you and Happy Anniversary to my princess.

— Bobby Winters, a native of Harden City, Oklahoma, blogs at redneckmath.blogspot.com and okieinexile.blogspot.com. He invites you to “like” the National Association of Lawn Mowers on Facebook.