“I Marry this No-One”

Featured image: Edvard Munch.
The Kiss, 1897.
Munch Museum, Oslo

In my journal from 1980-84, an entry appears which I call my “marriage dream.” It’s dated January 8, 1981. I recorded the dream in black ink, in a firm, angular script:

            This dream seems to take place in the past. In it, Dick and I walk up a gently sloping mountain. The soft greens of spring unfurl in the trees and shrubs that line the path. We are on our way to get married. We wear red robes. As we travel up the mountain, we are joined by friends. Colorful ribbons and flowing scarves brighten their plain homespun clothes. They carry flowers and picnic baskets.

            We hold the wedding in a small wooden building. The ceremony is brief, solemn, yet joyful. We repeat our vows: “I marry this no-one.” Afterwards, we celebrate with singing and dancing.

            When I came upon that old journal entry years later, the vows startled me. How could I have failed to remember them? Perhaps it’s because I didn’t understand them at the time.

Dick and I traveled to Norway in 1989. While in Oslo, we visited the Munch Museum and viewed The Kiss. It’s Munch’s depiction of a couple wrapped in a passionate embrace.

            What is most striking about the painting is the way Munch has chosen to depict the couple’s faces. We see only his thick black hair. His ear. Her neck, arching up toward him. That is all. Their featureless faces fuse, merged in a kiss.

            Faceless, they became two “no-ones.”  Munch had depicted my cryptic dream-vows, but I didn’t realize it then.

Anne-Marie Erickson

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