Love as Metaphor: Making One Home

Love as Metaphor: Making One Home

Building a home together, like love, is a deep, daily commitment.


Between us, Dane and I will have officiated 9 weddings in June. By "officiating," I mean we served as celebrant of a marriage ceremony. We’ve welcomed the guests, administered the rituals, and then declared the newlyweds, well, newly wed.

Personally, I consider officiating a wedding to be an enormous honor. The moment of marriage is rich with meaning. Of all of the defining moments in life, making a lifelong commitment to a partner – witnessed by the community – may be the most defining. The couple tears up. The audience tears up. I tear up.

For all that I would like to say I bring to a ceremony, I find that I am mostly a vessel. When people cry, they don’t cry because of what I said. At best, I make clear the love that is present – a love that is beyond words, and a love that transcends anything I might say or not say.

The Role of the Officiant

Being central to a ritual of love is overwhelming. Though officiants are mere vessels, a great officiant can help shape love’s meaning – to the couple, and to everyone present at the ceremony. This seems a worthy task. Yet making clear the meaning of love is also an impossible task. 

If I have any idea what love is or feels like, it is both because I have been well-loved, and because I have worked very hard at knowing and expressing love in my life. 

Still, making meaning of Love has always been an attempt to capture that which is beyond us. Love has a magic to it. Not just in romantic partnership. In friendship, in family. It is a pillar upon which so much of our personal lives are built, and yet it defies definition in a way other ideas like electricity or democracy do not.

One hundred years ago, officiating was the domain of clergymen. Not so today. You can get your license to officiate with 3 clicks on the internet. Yet people still have to choose you to be their officiant.

Why choose someone as an officiant? Well, Dane co-officiated one of my wedding events. I chose him because he was a dear friend (dearer now), is deeply reliable, valued love in a way I admired, and could tell an important part of the story of my love with Mimosa, my wife.

Metaphors of Love

Of all of the tasks of officiating – exchanging the rings, singing the paperwork, telling heart-warming stories about the couple – I find the task of defining love the most frightening. What do I know? Only the love in my own life – the love I’ve been given and the love I’ve made.

Visual metaphors help. What is love? It is a fire that needs to be fed. It is two trees that grow together, and remain bound long after Spring blossoms have fallen. It is a river that flows through us all.

One metaphor, above all else, strikes me as getting at the heart of what love in lifelong partnership is: Making one home. Love is a commitment between two people to make one home.

Making One Home, Together

A house is not a home. Countless small acts of loving ceremony make a house into a home. And making a home is hard.

Still a home requires more than mere loving ceremony. Making a home is work – work that must be done daily. Meals must be made. The trash must go out. The bathroom won’t clean itself. 

Love in romantic partnership balances nurturing romantic love and carrying out practical life. This comes alive in choices that must be made every single day. The couple must: go on dates and get the kids to school on time.

No one makes a home by themselves. Even when you are alone, and are at home, you are linked to your family and your ancestors by things you do or by relics that you honor.

Our ancestors have been making homes for far longer than they believed in any one God or many Gods. It has always been both a matter of survival and a matter of love. 

You can make a home with anyone you love. As long as you take up a commitment to make one home until one of you no longer can, you can deliver a marriage of love. 

Even though all homes are ultimately impermanent, the commitment to make a home can last a lifetime. And it can be – will be, for many – life's greatest work.

The Promise of Home

The house you are making is much more than a house. It is a home. A place where love and identity take root. Where your story and the story of your family is told, each new day.

Recognizing the sanctity of making a home, we found it deeply upsetting that some of the practical parts of making a home – online furniture shopping – could be so predatory and confusing. Thus our mission, and this site.


Geoff Abraham

Co-founder & President of Spoken

Geoff is the co-founder and President of Spoken. He is a Dad. He holds a BA from UT Austin (Plan II) and an MBA from Stanford. Geoff has built several successful businesses, including a bicycle taxi business in San Francisco which he ran for 10 years with his wife, Mimosa. He is an executive coach, and he actively invests in seed-stage startups via The Explorer Fund.

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