Twitter: “IOC considers postponing 2020 Tokyo Olympics.” Fox News: “Aid talks at standstill as McConnell, Dems argue over sticking points in stalled spending bill.” New York Times: “Partisan divide threatens deal on rescue bill.” Oregonian: “Veteran with coronavirus dies a Lebanon nursing home, bringing Oregon death toll to 5.”]
Yesterday, two of my best friends got married to each other. Congratulations, Nick and Celia! It was a totally lovely wedding: seven people present, in plain fresh air on a totally gorgeous day, as beautiful a day as you could dream of in Oregon in March. The grass was grass-green, the sky was sky-blue, and the cherry blossoms were white as wedding dresses.
I love ritual and ceremony. They allow us—“us” being a flexible unit that scales as large as the group observing the ritual or ceremony—to express ourselves through theme-and-variation. Theme-and-variation is one of the basest building blocks of artistic creation, and it exists in every art form. Weddings are a ceremony that have certain very popular elements: a couple, an officiant, vows, rings, a kiss, a party. Every couple decides what to incorporate into their ceremony and what form they take.
For this couple, perfect simplicity: a 10-minute ceremony, photos taken on a cell phone, a handmade cake, a dress ordered online. Each element chosen carefully, but lightly, with no comparison to anything outside its own rightness. Vows written sincerely, spoken in clear strong voice. One witness to laugh, one witness to cry. May you have such authorship and freedom from interference for all of your time together.
I love the poet’s ability to say things so much more clearly and stylishly than I can. Here’s a poem from Lynn Ungar that captures a lot of what I was trying to say in the last one of these, but much better:
How are you doing? What is keeping your spirits up? If you’ve read this far, please leave a comment.