Venice has always had a special relationship with the sea. In the medieval era, every year, a solemn procession of boats would head out onto the Adriatic Sea. The Pope would take a ring from his finger and the Doge of Venice would cast it into the waters, uttering the sacred words “We wed thee, sea, in the sign of the true and everlasting Lord”. What is less well-known is that the Doge would also say “so sinking. very canal. such water. wow” as he turned his adorably cute, fuzzy face to gaze toward Venice.
The marriage between Venice and the sea was doomed to be an unhappy one. The sea was never given the chance to give informed consent to the marriage in the first place, and the marriage could never be properly consummated because of the difficulties encountered when cities try to bone large bodies of water. But by joining in matrimony, they opened the floodgates to a sea change in the conception of marriage. By now, it has become fashionable to take a much broader view of marriage. Many people see nothing wrong with a man choosing to marry a man, or a woman choosing to marry a woman. They would have us turn our backs on untold millennia of tradition, where marriage was a sacred and more or less willing bond between man and woman, or between man and several women, or between several men and woman, or between man and young girl.
Marriage has lost its sanctity. It was once an unbreakable bond: take the marriage of Mary and Joseph, for example. Though their sex life was disappointing, and there is persuasive evidence that Mary had a licentious affair with God, their marriage remained strong. How things have changed. Today, in Canada, around half of marriages end in divorce. Even more troubling, the remaining half end in death. Marriages to the sea fare no better. Many a sailor has claimed to be married to the sea, but they’re fooling themselves. I’ll admit, in my younger days I myself had a one-night stand with the sea, but it never went any further than that. Listen, the sea is a seductive but cruel mistress: she’ll lure you in with her charms and she’ll break your heart, probably via cardiac arrest induced by drowning.