In Phoenix, the Heard Museum houses an amazing collection of art from Native American tribes indigenous to the Southwest. During my recent visit, a guide walked my friends and I around one of the larger exhibits and explained the some of the practices of many tribes whose ceremonial objects were depicted. 

One exhibit showed funeral and wedding dresses, and she explained that this tribe believed that women become clouds when they die, so the groom was required to make for his future wife a funeral garment. It had to fit correctly, meaning that, when he wrapped her in it, water could be poured through it and fall to the ground. If it were too tight, her soul could not escape her body. If it were too loose, the water would fall completely through rather than raining down on the ground, as it was supposed to do, in order to support life in the dry Southwestern climate.  The groom was required to make a garment that fit correctly, no matter how many times he had to try.

I like the idea that before getting married, a person must be able to fashion a garment that holds their loved one not too tightly, not too loosely. Relationship is like this: Hold someone too tightly, and you restrict the soul. Hold someone too loosely, and there is no life-giving quality to the partnership. We should, by all means,  keep trying until we get this right.

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