in defense of monogamy!

So often, I hear the same blah blah boring old story – That men are basically polygamous and that monogamy is unnatural. In these peoples’ view, marriage is the most unnatural arrangement of all. And I nash my teeth in despair!

The standard argument takes us on a well-honed journey back to ancient times from caves to tribes to harems where polygamy was the norm. Here is their proof that this is true male behavior.

And, so it seems, that women “the proverbial ball and chain”- (lovely title! NOT!) – are blamed for coercing men into a lifestyle that is abhorrent and unnatural to them.

I have never been a big fan of polygamy, as I am way too possessive and proprietary to consider sharing my man with other women, (although I have been shared without my consent and it was one of my least favorite experiences!) but last year, I had dinner with a Muslim prince when I was in Oman and I asked him to explain polygamy from a Muslim perspective. He explained it quite rationally. In the bloodthirsty times of yore, when wars were aplenty, and the Koran was freshly inked, such a huge percentage of their men were killed, leaving countless women without any hope of a husband. Mohammed felt that it would be a kindness to have the remaining men marry the unfortunate surplus of females so that they too could delight in the joys of childbearing and motherhood, and hopefully birth a new generation of virile men.

There was a strict code that was established stipulating that each woman had to be accorded the same standard of living  – there was to be no second rate wife parked in a trailer. Or third or forth! I asked the Prince if he had more then one wife. We were at dinner and only one wife had accompanied him, but the previous evening, he had been surrounded by quite a few women. I hoped not to insult him or his lovely bride, but I was consumed by curiosity. He laughed, “Oh goodness, I could not handle or afford more than one wife! In fact most of my generation opt for one wife, it gets too complicated and too expensive! They become best friends and gang up on the husband. He doesn’t stand a chance!” Apparently, those other women from the previous night had been his wife’s sisters. I sighed with relief. I wanted to shout, “welcome to the 21st century!” But I bit my tongue.

A previously poly-amorous friend of mine said that after many years of “spreading the love” she had decided that the benefits monogamy outweighed her previous lifestyle. “The only way to have depth in a relationship is with one person.”

I see monogamy as a progression of humanity’s evolution. Just because it feels unnatural, doesn’t mean that is it! It just means that it is unfamiliar compared with thousands of years of primitive behavior. I am hopeful we are moving beyond a survival-based existence.

It is a privilege to dance on this earth with your beloved, your soul mate. Together you can reach the stars, plow the depths of your souls, experience communion, and witness eternity in each other’s eyes.

I think of the Vedas – the Sacred Hindu scriptures, “Within the microcosm, lies the macrocosm.” This means that the human body is a miniature prototype of the universal body. I have had experiences where I have connected to a sense of expansiveness – not on drugs, I swear! – When I felt like the planets and the stars were within me.

If each one of us is a prototype of infinity, then how could a man tire of one woman? It could only mean that he had reached his limitation of being able to experience his own infinite nature.

Monogamy is the journey of the beloved. It is the capacity to experience the all and-the-everything through the ONE.

What could be more beautiful? What could be more of a privilege?

Just because it is challenging on a daily basis, why does that make it unnatural? To see your true self reflected back through another, to know yourself to the depth of your soul. To reach into the mystery and find the answer in your beloved. What a gift!

May you all find your beloved – unless you already have – and may they kick your butt – as they inevitably will – until you become all that you can be!

And together, may you both help each other shuck everything less then love.

In honor of our 13th anniversary

In honor of my 13th anniversary – I meant to post this blog on May 8th –the actual day– but I fell asleep on the plane to NYC.

That doesn’t sound very romantic!

I thought I would write about how Casper and I got engaged – because it’s kind of magical –

It is so easy to get complacent and bogged down by the quagmires of daily life, that sometimes I forget the magic surrounding the beginning of our relationship. My husband insists that the same magic persists today– but I seem to remember a certain blatant flair about the synchronicities, back then, in the beginning, that first swept us off our feet.

I was in London visiting Casper who was filming Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp – I got an offer to star in an indie film, The Omega Code. Casper concocted a plan that he should play the role of my character’s cameraman – the guy gets shot in the opening sequence –but at least that way he could accompany me on location – which he thought was only fair, as I had flown twice to London to be with him. Not to mention that the locations were not too shabby – Italy and Israel.

It just so happened that one of the producers, Larry Mortoff, was his producer on Tarzan, so he called him up and laid out his plan.

Larry seemed genuinely surprised, “I thought you were not available until April.”

Casper responded, “No, I wrap in February.”

“Okay, give me a minute, I’ll get back to you.”

Literally a minute later, the hotel phone rang. “Casper, how would you like the lead?”

We looked at each other, in shock.

March 1999, we were on a plane to Jerusalem. It just so happened that we had 5 days off in the middle of the shoot and the production gave us a car and driver to take us sightseeing. Neither one of us had never been to Israel, and how I imagined the country would look bore no resemblance to the reality. It was so much more beautiful. We drove through the lush valley of Galilee, we baptized each other in the river Jordan, we floated in the Dead Sea, prayed at every holy site, regardless of denomination, climbed down the perilous cliff from Masada. And last, but not least, we visited The Church of the Nativity – twice. Twice, because, Casper had decided he wanted to propose to me there. I had a sneaky suspicion that he was up to something, but I didn’t want to assume, after all, we had only known each other for 6 months. It was quite a hassle going through all the checkpoints between Israel and Palestine – I had no idea that Bethlehem was in current day Palestine.

On March 17, we clambered back down into the musty crypt, and Casper slid across the marble floor in front of the manger where myth has it that Jesus was born.

He bellowed, “Will you marry me?” and then, with greater urgency, “The camera is almost out of film!”

I shrieked “OMG! Yes!” and we burst into peels of laughter. We were immediately silenced by a very sour looking priest.

Upon leaving the church, we were approached by a local Palestinian, ”I offer you 200 camels for the blond.”

I was impressed. That was a lot of camels. I had no idea, but camels can be very expensive!

Our guide explained that the Church of the Nativity is the only church in that part of the world to have survived destruction. Myth has it, that when the Ottomans invaded, they destroyed everything in sight. When they arrived at the entrance of the church, torches in hand, they saw a mosaic – which is still intact today, of the Three Wise Men – AKA The Three Kings Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar – whom they considered of Islamic descent. So, they bypassed the church and moved on to pillage elsewhere.

There is one building that was subsequently built right up against the Church of the Nativity – The Church of Saint Catherine.

I found it very poetic that Casper proposed to me in a place where out two namesakes are preserved, side-by-side, at the symbolic birthplace of Christianity, and have remained inseparable for 2 thousand years.

It felt like our union was sanctified through time.

Yeah, I know, pretty romantic!!J