This passage is easy on one level yet impossible on another. You have to squint I think and step back from the detail.
At the distant level three phrases went through my mind:
“You’re the one”
In the emotional flow of it, last chapter she feared she may have lost her beloved. Now he’s back, and they are closer than ever.
Whose garden? The vineyard was introduced as her inmost private self, and her sexuality. Now the garden is also his. There are a variety plants. It’s a place owned by both of them, their shared inmost being and sexuality.
She flips the love declaration from earlier in the book. First it was “my beloved is mine, and I am his”. Now it’s “I am my beloved’s and he is mine”.
They are deep in trust and closeness, losing track of where one stops and the other starts.
You’re the one. He describes his love for her. It overwhelms him, he has to look away she’s so beautiful. She is unique to him, forget even the King’s harem of the most gorgeous women in the kingdom, none can compare.
The grandeur. She’s not just gorgeous, she’s majestic. Reminded me of “…we could be royals” the song by Lorde (what is it about her music and this book?).
He compares his love to… the glitziest and the most spiritual cities, Tizrah and Jerusalem. To banners of troops. To the dawn, the moon, the sun and the stars.
He is transported from the garden, all a-bloom with spring to the noble chariots of the capital, her calls her a female version of Solomons name: “Shulmalite”.
It’s that wedding day feeling: you are inseparable, your partner is the best in the world, and your romance is one for the ages.
This is not a diary or a blog. It’s not documentary. It’s a poetic script, designed for some sort of performance, including parts for a chorus of friends to link the sections. It’s Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde (But not tragic).
It’s this idealised abstraction of relationships – a supercut I said earlier, a better picture of love than our actual relationships can sustain.
I do still cry at weddings, taken aback by riskyness of their promise of love before God, treasuring all the more my beautiful Kelly sitting beside me. It doesn’t have to work out as wonderful as it did for us. And still never perfect perhaps, but what richness in the discoveries together, such as I could never have imagined.
What am I saying? I don’t know… It’s a bit too much this book. So unrelenting in focus, like consuming a whole plate of Turkish delight in one sitting.
All of these wisdom books are: Ecclesiastes is too much existential angst, proverbs has too many proverbs, psalms has more than enough measures of praise and despair for a lifetime: you never finish psalms. And Job: God himself is just too much.
It’s like God said “ok lets do this, let talk life, death, love infinity, all the obsessions of your imaginations,” but because he is God, the brew is always verging on too strong too heady for us. “100 ways to blow our tiny minds”. There’s an album concept for these books!
Praise God I suppose. I bow to a stronger force. You really are the source, the richest take on all these things. You win!