Artist or Wife

Can a women be both wife and artist, and if so at what cost? The question reused to be a theoretical one for AGNES DE MILLE in 1943, when at the height of her success as a choreographer she married Walter Prude, a lieutenant in the air force. Then the demands from Broadway began to rie with her responsibilities as an army wife, a conflict she has pointed up in her new book, AND PROMENADE HOME.

MEN have always been able to experience family and work together. It has been assumed that because of the greater emotional demands made on women, they could not have both, and they have hitherto been constrained to choose.

The fact that for millenniums all such desires have been arbitrarily suppressed in women proves nothing but the brutality of convention. In primitive and ancient cultures women were thought, because they were women and because they gave birth, to have special powers and were the preferred celebrants vital to certain life and death occasions.

Mastery in any field is attained by practicing what is valued at times of recognized importance. No genius, no matter what the field, is an unprecedented accident. There must be a need, an expectation and trust. Behind Sappho was a long line of honored female poet-composers, the last supremely great female composers in the history of music. She was the culmination of a tradition, and it is instructive to note that Sappho was not only by contemporary accounts (which are all we have of her, since the music has been lost) the greatest of her profession but that she was a good wife and mother and that her social reputation within her community and during her lifetime was exemplary. It was a century later that the boys in Athens started a whispering campaign of personal defamation which reinforced a growing legend that any woman who dedicated herself to art must be a freak, that artistic creativity was compensation for lack of creativity in more natural and suitable functions. This myth was not based on fact, or on any larger understanding of women’s capacities or happiness, but directly on men’s convenience. Women have at last, to their terrible cost, come to accept this view. It suited their men. And they understandably wanted to suit their men.

As the conviction took hold, and woman began to think of herself as not only different but inferior, she gradually lost her function of a necessary ritual voice in the community. Where is she, for instance, in the Christian church? In the Hebraic? The Muslim, Hindu, or Shinto? On her knees with her head covered up and her mouth shut, removed at a prophylactic distance from the high altar and all sacred vessels. In our church, women have been considered from Old Testament times unclean, a moral and ritualistic hazard. The very functions and powers that primitive religions cherished here betray her. Women from the end of the first century A.D. have not been allowed to officiate in the church, build or design the church, compose or write for the church, perform in the church, or even for some hundreds of years sing as lay members of the congregation. “Woman was represented [by the early church fathers],” writes Lecky, “as the door of hell, as the mother of all human ills. She should be ashamed at the very thought that she is a woman. She should live in continual penance, on account of the curses she had brought upon the world.”

Consecrated women — that is, women whose every female function had been exorcised, neutralized — were permitted certain holy or clerical offices, but always secretly and behind bars. At one period the unsterilized were forbidden to sing anywhere at all, even over their slop pails and washboards. But this restriction could not long prevail. Women’s natural rejoicing while scrubbing floors and cleaning out the garbage was not to be restrained, and they gave tongue to their enthusiasm. But only domestically. The church doors remained shut to women except at a most terrible price: the dedication of their entire lives, private floorwashing and all.

And many thought the cost slight. For among other attractions, the church provided the only art experience the average person, male or female, could know. During the Dark Ages its vast projects exploited all the talents available in any community. Throughout eight hundred years of endowed scholarship it developed the many arts it could use. But the arts it could not use — chiefly dancing — withered. No ecclesiastical or ritual choreography was composed, nor was any method of dance notation evolved, as unquestionably would have been done had the holy fathers wished to preserve any visual ceremonial. The artists the church was permitted to use — that is, men — achieved great works. The artists it was not — what became of them? Barred up. Barred out. Wasted. Lost.

STIMULATED by religious sanctions, the average husband and father placed even harder and more cruel blocks in the path of women’s imaginative expression. By persuading themselves and their wives that no woman could devote time to anything but her husband and household without moral treason, they managed to discourage undomestic yearnings. Men wanted their wives womanly; by that was meant, we gather, they wanted them steadfast, attentive, enthusiastic, enduring — most certainly enduring — and serene; and by serene was meant that the women were to have no doubts about men’s judgments and no disturbing inclinations of their own, a concept successfully implemented by a child a year — usually a convincer. Sixteen children without benefit of pediatrician, nursery school, or corner drugstore guaranteed attentiveness.

The women who were at the head of a great household were in a position of considerable influence: they administered battalions of servants; they supervised the many domestic industries which supplied virtually everything used in daily life and which had to be made on the premises; they ran dispensaries for whatever medicine was needed; they arbitrated and organized and instructed. They did not, therefore, have much leisure, and any free time there was they devoted to husband and children and not to idle flights of fancy.

The women had no doubt great satisfaction in being necessary and effective and may well have been both serene and content; we have not heard otherwise. The important point is that we have not heard. They were speechless. The experience of rearing families, which was the universal lot of all lay women, did not find in seventeen centuries a single authentic female statement.

Nor did any of the men speak up. Men have sung about acres of pearly breasts, snowy throats, and bee-bruised lips, but about the service, companionship, and character of his helpmeet, not one word. Until the Victorian era the sharer of bed and bosom remained “my wife, poor wretch!” Consciously or unconsciously, women have lived for hundreds, for thousands of years with the belief that their happiness lay in serving God wholly or in serving husband and children wholly. Thus by religious sanction and matrimonial reinforcement the great taboo was fixed in our mores.

For over a thousand years woman’s chief creative expression was restricted to the statements of saints and visionaries locked behind walls, special in nature, in no way representative of ordinary woman, her passions or fate.

Outside the safety of the church most transgressors against the social code paid dearly for their defiance with loss of caste and with cruel personal restrictions. Only lower-class women were permitted to embroider or paint, the two being considered of an equally artisan nature. Certain pretty outcasts were permitted to sing or act, although there were long periods of interdiction against even depraved women doing either. But within and without the cloister the usual price of self-expression for intellectual or wellborn women was the forfeit of sexuality.

As late as the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when gentlewomen began to have what we would consider professional careers, the majority remained spinsters. The married few took husbands late when the pattern of their minds had been firmly set, like Elizabeth Barrett and George Eliot. The exception that leaps to mind is, of course, George Sand, but it must be remembered that if she had many lovers, she found by her own admission lasting happiness with no one; she remained ill-mated and lonely throughout.

And as one considers the great names of the last two centuries, certain facts become apparent: many worked semisecretly under male pseudonyms; few married, fewer still bore children; very nearly all were sick, flat on their backs as often as not.

And what kind of art did these rebellious lonely people produce? Except in two fields, not the best. There were among them a few lyric poets not comparable to the greatest men, a few second-class painters, no architects, until very recently no sculptors, not one single first-rate composer excepting the nuns Kassia, Mechtild, and Hildegarde, whose work their church did not think fit to preserve but who left a tremendous contemporary reputation.

This is a fairly frightening history. It matters not a whit how you educate a girl, what techniques or attitudes you teach her. If she knows that her men will not welcome her talents, she is going to proceed timidly. Put any gifted child at the keyboard, train her, exhort her six hours a day, but let it be borne in on her that there never has been in recorded music a first-rate female composer, that no man will consider her work without condescension, and, worst of all, that within herself she may provoke conflicts that she cannot hope to surmount, and you may get results, but they won’t be Beethoven.

This has been wasteful for art, cruel for the women, and unhelpful to the men, because they have been persuaded to build up their pride of manhood on assumptions that were bound to give way the moment that women found the restraints served no good purpose and need not be endured.

TODAY women know almost as much freedom as in pagan antiquity, and turn eagerly to the arts, but to only three with promise of supreme success:

First, now as before, and always, to the performing careers, where in spite of long periods of interdiction and censure they have managed consistently to excel. Second, to creative storytelling and prose, in which they hold their own with the best. And third, to choreography. In this field they have practiced without restriction. No man ever barred the way here because no man thought highly enough of the business to keep women out, as he had done from so many august, holy, or honorable occupations.

The Christian church had proscribed dancing, and it was utterly without dignity, cut off from all serious motivation, the sources of ancient meaning and glory. The Christian church was the first great church to do this. So strongly had dancing been involved in ail previous worship that it took more than one thousand years to root it out of the Catholic service (a good deal longer than it took to root women out). But it was at last eradicated, and the church is poorer for the loss; the effect on dancing has been disastrous. For two thousand years dancing and dancers have struggled under religious and social censure more formidable than that placed on any activity except sin itself— and sex.

Dancing nevertheless remains the germinal art, the mother of theater and all other arts, in an anthropological sense the mother of the church. And it is in this ancient medium that those members of the community debased from proper participation in more honored practices have served a quickening purpose. The rejected art and the rejected artist meet here in apt congress. Here woman is despised for her trade and not for her sex, and there is all the margin between success and failure in this differentiation. It has been the women who have transfigured not only the art, but the point of view and purpose of its practitioners, its status and relation to other arts and to the community. Dancing is the only art where women have functioned to such crucial purpose, but it is the only art where they have not worked in the teeth of universal doubt.

There have been great male choreographers: Noverre, Bournonville, Petipa, Fokine, Massine, Balanchine, Ashton, Tudor. I think one must truthfully report that the greatest have been men. But there has been no artist in a class with Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Goethe, or Bach. Indeed, to rank any choreographer with these seems like impertinent hyperbole. Nor have there been any male figures comparable in dynamism and originality to Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, or Mary Wigman.

The very handicaps and limitations which have frightened away gifted men work to woman’s advantage. Here her training and habits stand her in good stead. Here even her body is helpful. Anonymity has been her history. She is at home in an art without literature, without past or future. She has never hoped beyond today and tomorrow — or much beyond the door of her house. Are not her daily efforts spent on evanescence? Cooking, washing, watching, caring, each day erasing the labors of the day before as each gesture erases from the air its precedent? And as every day’s work must start afresh in endless repetition, so each dance begins clean with no record. The dancer enters space without a guiding mark, and the pattern is rehearsed and leaves no sign — no sign except the exchange between living people, the relationship established, if only once and never again. The patience for this is woman’s special endowment. She is aware that there is no substitute for the breath of life; that it is unique and personal; that the unduplicated action, the unrepeated speech, the gesture or word thrown away or heard by few or only once may be as important as any public message. She remembers that the source is inexhaustible; that it is the moment of life that counts, the rebirth; that again and again and again the dancer jumps and runs, and when he falls, another, by vital invitation, leaps out. This, woman understands. This is the stuff of her life.

WOMEN today comprise nearly one third of our total working force — many thousands of them in the arts—but the ones that turn to dancing do so still for the antique reasons: power and Dionysian release on their own terms.

Dancing ranks with women’s oldest professional careers, religious dedication and prostitution. It is inextricably related to both. First as priestess, then as prostitute, then as theater performer, the dancer found a way of winning fortune, an excuse from household slavery and enforced seclusion.

Dancing has always been fruitful in its effects of direct fulfillment and satisfaction, and today the appeal is, as before, spellbinding through the body. It is not the concomitants of theatrical success that draw young girls so much as the vision of becoming generically dancer in the permitted dress, exposed legs, free and floating arms, aerial skirt. I think they want this because it produces effects of transformation as recompense for all they find insupportable in woman’s traditional lot.

Dancing inflames and exercises the senses of the viewer (hence its long connection with prostitution) and of the performer (hence its long connection with religion). It is a physical release as no other performing art can be, because it is practiced on the whole body; the body is the instrument, the medium itself, and the exposure is total and voluptuous. Therein lies the clue to its compulsive lifelong hold. It can become more frequently than not a substitute for physical sex, and it has all too often been chosen as a vocation because woman’s life, sexually speaking, has become in our civilization unsatisfactory, uncertain, and expensive to the individual.

In what way, then, is dancing a solution? Briefly, it guarantees satisfaction and control to people who are afraid they will not otherwise know them. A dancer can do more than pray or hope; she takes matters into her own hands.

Every girl has known from time immemorial that she had better have a dowry or looks, and if she possessed neither, there was usually nothing for her but to be family drudge or enter the church, where God could be counted on to overlook what husbands would not. On her appearance still depends in large measure her chance for a good marriage and children, for a continuing sex life, for a high income. Numbers of illfavored women have succeeded to the physical rewards of life, it is true, but it is in spite of handicap and by exercising faculties not demanded of the more handsomely endowed. Age and appearance, therefore, are important, particularly in any situation where women outnumber men.

Doctors assure us that any feeling of inferiority induced by physical appearance, short of mutilation, is in reality a symptom of a deeper conflict, and that the truly beautiful are as capable of self-doubt as the plain. This may be so, but it is not the prevailing popular understanding. A woman’s age has always been important because her value has been reckoned chiefly as a breeding animal, and fecundity determined her economic status. This is happily no longer so.

Youth and physical beauty, nevertheless, are still held up before us as a promise, and have been in legend, story, and song. We are told and we believe — women more than men — that to win love, but, more imperatively, to retain love, we must be beautiful. It is a terrifying threat. And it faces us on every billboard, magazine page, screen, stage, shop window and, yes, even on the pages of every nursery picture book, because the princess was always beautiful or became so. And as we grew up, we accepted the idea more and more. Mother’s friends always spoke of “the fine little boy" or “the son,”but it was “the pretty little girl,”and if that adjective was omitted and the word “dear” substituted, we became sensible of something hurt or slightly damaged and needing special tenderness.

Woman’s best approach to happiness, we learn on all sides, is the quick rousing of men’s erotic interest, and the advertisements are explicit as to what rouses men. It can be bought in a bottle, and it is quite expensive but well worth the price. Five of the largest businesses in the United States — cosmetics, ladies’ clothing and accessories, furs, jewelry, both real and false, women’s magazines — have sprung from the premise that romance follows beauty and that beauty can be purchased. The young woman is advised to make herself lovely and then lie around like a kind of bait, and she is warned that only after the trap has successfully sprung can she satisfy her own inclinations.

Now, for many young people this is a dismaying proposition. A girl may very well feel she cannot make the grade; she may also feel fundamentally outraged in having her life controlled by someone else’s tastes, implying, as it does, a passivity which she may interpret as helplessness.

THE fact is many women do not favor being passive, are downright frightened by it, having witnessed centuries of results. Young girls see quite a lot of women, particularly mothers, and often they are not enchanted. They see mothers tied to housework who would prefer not to spend their days sweeping and cooking. They see mothers and older sisters doing jobs and chores which are considered more menial and less important than fathers’ jobs and that bring in no money. It is father who has the cash for his freedom; mother must ask. Indeed, mother has almost no freedom at all to speak of. Mothers are always at the call of other people’s needs and desires. Their daughters find little charm in the pattern. They would like to be free to please themselves, forever children, unless they might grow up to some of the freedom of father. But growing up for a woman, as they observe, seems to mean less freedom, and no guarantee of happiness. And so some of them, the dancers, never grow up.

Very few dancers develop the bodies of mature women; they keep lean in the hips and flatbreasted, a phenomenon remarked on by all costume designers. It is also a fact that the greatest performers, the women best capable of communicating sensuous satisfaction, are in their bodies least sensual. In effect they have sacrificed all organs of personal fulfillment and maintain and cherish only the means for public satisfaction, the system of bones and sinews for levitation and propulsion. The ballet foot and leg, which when used to its full capacity can evoke an almost physical response, is in repose as tight and straight as the leg of a mule. Certain great soloists have been lacking in even primary sexual functions and are known to have menstruated rarely in their lives. For the rest, very many, possibly a majority, are partially frigid, and most tend to be, in spite of legend, more chaste than otherwise. I do not mean to imply that they are not passionate and gallant, but that certain deep rejections and fears prevent easy sexual release. The majority of American women are, it is claimed by medical statistics, partially frigid, and perhaps dancers no more than others. In any case, the dancers have evolved a substitute expression and do not mind the state so bitterly. This, of course, is no good answer to the fear of life. But it is an instinctive and practical one.

Even Isadora Duncan, who clamored the loudest for love, was no exception. She was a true sensualist, and she seems to belie in the richness of her experience all I have argued about women’s substitution of dancing for life. But consider her point of view repeatedly expressed: she vowed when very young never to submit to woman’s usual fate, never to marry — that is, never to put herself or her fortune into any man’s keeping — to bear children if and when she pleased, to leave them or look after them at whim, to be absolutely free and to remain so. She wished to have the freedom of a pagan as she imagined it, for she recognized love as a transient ecstasy. The communion on which marriage is built she never, I believe, envisaged, nor constancy, security, fruition — these being the rewards of the female life she scorned. She followed a dream, power without responsibility, release without cost. And her way of attainment was the cultivation of her body. The littlest ballet pupil in first position before the mirror is starting on the same historic path.

For in dancing the face matters least and the body is beautiful if it functions beautifully. It is not the shape of the leg but the use of the leg that tells. Furthermore, and most felicitously, the beautiful use changes the flesh and corrects all manner of imperfections. Contrary to maxims, one can by taking thought add a cubit to stature. When a dancer stands before a mirror, she no longer sees what her big brothers see, but a promise. If her nose turns up or down, no matter: men will gasp at the carriage of her head. It she is fat, she will get thin. If she is thin, the muscles of her back and thighs will enable her to move like a voluptuary. And who is to say or who cares what she is, whether this or that, if she stands in the center of a stage in the revealing and beautiful uniform of her trade, escorted by the best cavalier in the business, who has forfeited the right to refuse her and must take her if she is the best — not the prettiest, mind you, but the best and the most skillful. And there for all to see, in public, she will perform with him the ritual of romantic courtship. More than in any other art, there are enormous rewards as regards direct attention, admiration, emotional release, and they remain always under the performer’s command. She never surrenders her will. She gets her rewards directly by her own effort. There need be no intermediary — and for any female who doubts her powers this is a temptation of frightening persuasiveness.

Dancing represents sex in its least costly form, free from imprisonment and free to a great extent from emotional responsibility, and, above all, as a sure thing, independent of someone else’s pleasure. In other words, it means freedom from sex. The forces which impelled women to the austerity of the church operate to form the great dancer. In a strange transmutation dancing is a form of asceticism — almost a form of celibacy.

Is, THEN, the aesthetic impulse rooted in neurosis and unable to develop except under the compulsion of pain? Are these brutal disciplines and forfeits necessary to creative effort? The ancients did not rely on any such goads and, notwithstanding, their art flourished. The restraints we place on women creators could well be accidental to our culture, of no great profit to the individual or the work, but, rather, destructive to both. I believe this to be the case and that the genius with which certain women write or paint or compose or choreograph derives from faculties and needs beyond any mere act of compensation. I believe that talent is compounded of the entire personality and is as much a sign of exuberant health as of sickness. But the bewitchment of hundreds of thousands, of millions of girls by the dream, by even the discipline, of dancing cannot be called creativity or even vocation. It is escape, it is protest and, in large part, hysterical protest. For a time it serves the art form well, but only for a time. In the working conditions of our world and theater the dedicated ones are forced under emotional whips to greater and greater effort. But there is a limit. The personality ceases to expand, ceases to breathe, in certain aspects it withers, and this is reflected in a stunting of the art. The audience is always aware.

An act of suppression that cancels out emotional or imaginative life, the one at the cost of the other, is obviously wasteful. With either choice a major section of the personality is wrecked, and all human relations, in marriage and out, must suffer.

A dancer’s release, like most magic, is transient and won each time by renewed and arduous effort. Dancing has become consequently a kind of sexual limbo whose inhabitants identify their own flesh with their purpose, a confusion not equally true for women artists whose bodies are not their lifework. Dancing is, in a deep sense, the only physical union many of these women know, a sort of automarriage. And as with all such narcissistic unions, there develops an aura of melancholy and the promise of death. Many a young dancer has drowned in the mirrors before which she spends her life. The others live only when the reflection from the audience fans breath back into their emptying spirits.

Whatever rewards the dancer knows in place of the usual emotional and sexual associations, she is frequently assailed by doubts in her late twenties or early thirties. Even the very great know these morbid spells. The needs of the heart cannot be cheated forever. The dancer grows frightened. The dancer realizes suddenly she is a spinster and aging, no matter how fast she gets around the room. The life of merciless effort, the dimming chances of permanent fame, exhaustion, and the growing comprehension of what old age means to a fading athlete without family or home suddenly terrify even the stanchest. The conviction grows that the sacrifice has been too much and perhaps not necessary. There is many a volte-face at this point and a marriage with at least one child in a frantic effort to put life back on balance.

But our theater is not set up for family life; dancing in particular is conditioned by worldwide touring, uncertain irregular seasons, and precarious pay. Our dancers are not protected wards of the state with guaranteed salaries and pensions. The married dancer is called upon to relinquish jobs that would further her career and settle for domesticity against professional interest. Many do this serenely and good-naturedly; this is nothing more than the problem of reconciling life and art, which is present with all workers, but in a dancer’s case, particularly for women, it is final. She may consider the exchange worth the price either way. She may not and live in perpetual conflict.

It is astonishing under the circumstances that none of these factors deters young girls one whit. Five million of them in this country alone are studying to be professional dancers. Perhaps this is so because women today, even dancers, cannot bring themselves to accept these conditions as permanent. They see no reason why they should not have both work and family, what with Deepfreeze, Waring Blendor, and diaper service. They believe also with all their hearts and hopes — because it suits them so to believe — that sweet reasonableness and a sense of fair play will dissolve the major block to the double life: their husbands’ attitude.

Marriage is difficult with any artist. “A man does not love a woman for her genius; he loves her in spite of her genius,” writes Maurice Goudeket, the husband of Colette. Marriage is perhaps hardest of all with a theater personality, because the work is not wholly under the control of the individual. Dancers above all do not make easy wives. The union has to run a gamut of conflicting loyalties. A dancer’s husband has to share his wife’s discipline. His life is as curtailed as hers and quite literally by hers. Most men, particularly men outside of the profession, find such conditions onerous.

But the unrest is general and pertains to all careers and all classes of society. Preachers, doctors, and teachers warn; magazine and newspaper editorialize. The women’s magazines are particularly explicit: if the wife has to work outside the home she must never let it impinge on her husband’s schedule, and if inside the home she must see that it is finished and put away before he comes back from his own work, and she must never for one moment let him think that hers is important compared with his, or his interests and hobbies and needs. And for this reason and because it will be construed as a direct reflection on his virility, she must not earn more money. He will develop ulcers, sinuses, abscesses, tuberculosis. He will borrow the classic symptom of women’s frustration, the bitter, black headache, and although women’s magazines do not care to name this, he will add one of his own: partial or total impotence, which is a form of suicide and just as unanswerable. He may in the end leave her.

If the women do not depend on their men as their grandmothers did, the men similarly manage to do without them. It has become a game of mutual attrition played out on a level where both are pitifully defenseless. Medical statistics and divorce courts list the ruin. The suicide rate among men, the alcoholism, the excesses of sedation and narcotics, the growing overt homosexuality, the juvenile neurosis and delinquency attest to the monumental cost of the emotional adjustment. This is the “furious and lamentable region” that Conrad speaks of, “the dwelling place of unveiled hearts” where there is neither right nor wrong but only human suffering.

Woman has always accepted with grace, with pride and satisfaction, her husband’s interests and achievements, taking joy, taking not in any way a sense of diminution and shame. Can the husband endure to learn this? Does he wish to? Will he not rather attempt to put things back as they were, stuffing all hopes, ambitions, and zests not centered on himself into the family cupboard and setting his back to the door? Indeed, indeed, things cannot go back. Pandora’s box is opened. The girls are earning money.

It is of no consequence who works better, men or women; it is important that each work differently and that each be allowed to try without penalties. “Never destroy any aspect of personality,” said my grandmother George, who had no career except caring for her family, “for what you think is the wild branch may be the heart of the tree.” Not all women want a double life. But those who do should not be denied on the grounds of sex. It is not easy to be a devoted wife and mother and a first-class artist; it is equally hard to be an artist with no root experience in fife. It is impossible to be a good wife or a wise mother embittered, balked, and devoured by inner energies. Creative exercise can be disciplined to a household schedule — not easily, but women everywhere prove it can be done. For when all faculties are exercised, the enormous releases of strength and satisfaction more than make up for the extra attention demanded. Extra attention? No, rather, elimination of waste and repining. The alternation of diaper washing and composing spell one another in mutual refreshment. Ask any responsible working mother. And the children will reflect the zest and energy of the parent’s life. And as to the work, how it flourishes! How it flowers and expands! Even under discipline, perhaps particularly under discipline, because it is voluntary and joyful, because the sources of life are fulfilled and replenished, and because, as in all things, the greater the range of accomplishment, the greater the capacity for more,

I think this is what Isadora Duncan meant when she spoke of founding a new religion: the total release of women’s hearts, the total use of their gifts.

Women have bent to the yoke, and the scars of their durance are upon their children. But with the lessening of all social and religious restrictions, with widening economic opportunities, with practical invention bringing ease and leisure, there stands between woman and whatever life she yearns for only one barrier: her husband’s good will. Failing this, she fails all. She must have his blessing, his pride in her achievement. Let him dower her with this and there will come the great works for which we have waited so long. But beyond and beneath there will come happiness.

It is an act of recognition that is needed, an act of love.