I decided for a blog I would do something I always prided myself in NEVER doing. I would write about my perfect man, the kind I hope to marry. I want to believe that it would not matter “if he wasn’t what some girls think of as handsome,” but I want him to be “big and strong,” brave and able to say, (like Galahad in Tennyson’s Idylls of the King) “my strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure.” He must be a faithful lover, and he must be a tender one, too. He is not a Lancelot with all his complications (sleeping with his best friend’s wife). Perhaps he is a Galahad, winner of Holy Grails, the prizes which no other can aspire to. He must have a heart which beats for me, but also for larger causes like Ukraine. They are the Camelot which he would die to defend.
In the Arthurian legends, Lancelot had a liaison with the saintly Elaine, who knows that despite his relationship to Guinevere he is incomplete without a son. Despite what happens, Lancelot swears he cannot marry Elaine. Yet perhaps Elaine honored their son Galahad all the more for the boy missing a father. Perhaps if the Oedipal Complex will be allowed, I can be Elaine to my Galahad. I don’t want to say I will be “the power behind the throne,” but perhaps I shall be the one who believes in my Prince Charming as though I were his own mother. After all, perhaps at my age it is not unlikely that his mother will be gone soon–as I sometimes fear my own mother may not have many years to live.
I wonder if my beloved–my Galahad–is like Israel’s Lord “a Man of War.” The royal house of Britain is said, after all, to be descended from King David. Yet I cannot really claim my Galahad from the line of Kings. It is only virtue that made him good, just as Lancelot entered the Kingdom as a stranger supposedly. My beloved is a man of the Earth, like Abraham was according to Thomas Mann in Joseph and his Brothers. Like Abraham he is a dreamer, and like Jacob he climbs from the role of being an ordinary man to a man “who wrestles with God and man and prevails.” Jacob’s ladder shined bright the night he was born. Of course, my beloved must be a Jew, and not just any Jew. He must be From. He must be kind. He must be good. He must be more faithful than Hamlet’s Polonius in the words,
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
All of this and more he must be to be my beloved Bashert: kind, honest, loyal, fair, just and brave.