#10 Dents

Sanders Family

We know that rock beats scissors, and scissors beats paper. Did you know that spoon beats gold?

We learned that during rehearsals for Smoke on the Mountain. She was playing the sister who didn’t sing but signed. And played the percussion instruments – which for that musical style meant things like the washboard, triangle, and slapstick. And the spoons.

Turns out if you beat some spoons between your knee and the fingers of your left hand, your knee does alright, as do the spoons. The wedding band on your left hand? Not so much. You can still see the dents in her ring – even though she stopped wearing it to any rehearsals that involved spoons.

The rings, for those who’ve never attended a wedding, are a symbol of the marriage. The circle for never ending; the gold for value. The dents – well, most officiants don’t mention the dents.

They stand for the rough patches – the misdirected anger, the grouchiness, the miscommunications blown out of proportion. The frustration at the world taken out on the ones closest by; the loneliness of one partner growing faster than another; the jealousies that defy explanation.

While the wedding officiants may not talk about the dents, our pre-marital counselor did (thank you Van), so we weren’t taken by surprise when the years weren’t all honeymoon and roses. We also realized, in the long view, that the dents are part of the ring – not an aberration, or a mistake to pretend isn’t there. (As a current musical comedy TV show recently reminded us – true love is work).

We wear our rings with the pride of what they represent. The value; the eternal; and the dents. The dents show that the ring is real. They show that while the ring may be marked, it is not broken. They show that the buffets of life come to us both, together, and belong to the two-become-one.

And they remind us of the music that surrounds the dents; it is in the process of growing together, of traveling the road together, that the dents occur. Without making the music, there would be no dents.

And the music is always grander than the scars.

In fact, the dents are kind of beautiful in and of themselves.

She played the spoons a quarter of a century ago, and she still proudly carries those dents. How could I not love her all the more for it?

{originally posted as part of the countdown to our silver anniversary}

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