Friday, July 12, 2013

Wedding Lessons

It has been said that when your tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Conversely, when your quest is to bump the world out of all our dangerous ruts and devastating patterns, every action, reaction, and interaction becomes a potential model of how to go about this.

I am skeptical of the ordinary. Traditions have a solid place in my heart, but I shudder at actions performed by rote or done under the auspices of the twin scourges of "should" and "supposed to." A lot of good will come from erasing these words from our vocabularies, washing them off our souls and going forward with only the thoughts of doing what is right by our own lights.

This is the time of life where I attend friends' weddings with intense regularity. While I still have zero interest in dancing the Electric Slide and maintain mixed feelings on marriage personally, I feel incredibly fortunate to witness so many dear friends choosing and committing to building a loving life with another good human.

I have yet to attend a bad or boring wedding. One friend--married last summer at an air field--says she thinks because people are getting married older than has been traditional, everyone knows themselves better and makes the wedding in kind. Personally, I think it is because I am friends with the greatest people on earth, people who are joyfully allergic to inauthentic bullshit, who do not lose sleep over temporal details, who don't care what they are supposed to do, what a wedding should look like, but know that they want to celebrate the hell out of their partner and their new life together. It makes for some fun times.

At the most recent wedding I attended, the d.j. couldn't get the music to play for the bride to walk down the aisle. I suppose at some weddings, this would constitute a major emergency. Mascara and eyeliner would be running down the bride's face, someone else would be red-faced and screaming that "this is bullshit!," and that lovely, quiet time when one human walks towards another in utter love, would have been shattered.

To mar that moment would have been criminal. So, after a long few minutes of waiting, the bride began to walk, unheralded. Her beautiful adaptability, her willingness to walk against expectations, at that moment was breathtaking. And, as she neared the guests assembled under the trees, the altar, and her now-husband, someone began humming "Here Comes the Bride." And everyone, halting and off key, joined in.

I can think of no sweeter response to the presumed disaster.

Our answers to the troubles of this world will come from the same place as whoever began to hum. And it is time to recognize that we must hum. We will usher new ways of being forward with that same upswelling, organic spirit of delight, of support, of utter joy, and love. The technology, the supposed to and the should, these will break, they are breaking and broken. From oil trains to pipelines to fraying infrastructure the true disasters are pooling up. What happens next, we cannot know. But, from somewhere deep within, the right things are starting to rise up and be seen, be heard. We may be off key and imperfect, but we are far, far more capable than we can yet know. It is time to join in.

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