September 5, 2014 (in Tammerie’s words)
M and I awaken in the Philly apartment we affectionately call The Bunkhouse. She brings me a cup of coffee. “Will you marry me today?” Yes, I say, kissing her sweet face. Yes, an infinity times over, yes.
We walk through the day, an ordinary day in which nothing will change and everything will change. It strikes me how like grief this is. When someone you love dies, the hollow place persists for so long, colors are grayed out, you can’t understand why everyone is just going on with everything: laughter, boredom, complaining, routines. This joy, in a similar way, suffuses everything and yet not everyone – people around us are just going on with everything: frustrations, distractions, hurrying, ignoring.
As with the grief, so with the joy – for the most part, we let the world swirl by. We offer our true faces and feelings to a few companions, and do our best to be in the moments as they unfold. Walking toward our wedding hour, I hold my loves – M, Harper, Chandler, our beloved friends – in my heart, trembling full and sparkling like a bubbling glass of joy.
I think of John O’Donohue’s book of blessings, suddenly sure there must be a blessing for marriage in it. I open to read:
As spring unfolds the dream of the earth,
May you bring each other’s hearts to birth.
As the ocean finds calm in view of land,
May you love the gaze of each other’s mind.
As the wind arises free and wild,
May nothing negative control your lives.
As kindly as moonlight might search the dark,
So gentle may you be when light grows scarce.
As surprised as the silence that music opens,
May your words for each other be touched with reverence.
As warmly as the air draws in the light,
May you welcome each other’s every gift.
As elegant as dream absorbing the night,
May sleep find you clear of anger and hurt.
As twilight harvests all the day’s color,
May love bring you home to each other.