Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Wedding

At a good wedding, love radiates into the hearts and minds of everyone in attendance. This particular ceremony, with its ritual mix of Buddhist invocations beneath a Chuppah traditionally used in Jewish weddings, was sublime. I was aware that these two new friends of mine were destined to be together for a very long time.

At weddings, the synergistic mix of love and alcohol often fuels late night hook-ups for single guests. However, in this crowd of 150 people, I was one of just a handful of single folks (note that the use of the word “folks” has been popularized by our current President to dumb down his Ivy league pedigree for the average American). In this sea of married couples huddled together beneath umbrellas in the backyard of the betrothed, thunder punctuated every line of poetry exchanged between bride and groom. Me and my 3 other unattached friends formed an island of singledom, united by our knowledge that we’d be going to bed alone inebriated in the wee hours of the next day.

The most intriguing experience I had was with a 90 year old woman. She wouldn’t bust out any moves on the dance floor to “Thriller” but we had great conversations spanning two days. With her crystal clear mind and rock solid countenance, she told me of her years in New York and subsequent move to rural South Carolina.

I think it’s easier to be a single woman at a wedding: women aren’t afraid to throw down the moves with and upon (yes, one intrepid dancer rode the Bride’s lap) each other. Guys only dance together if they’re completely piss-ass drunk or spent their frat boy years together and have fond memories of making fools of themselves. Not wanting to potentially offend any husbands watching from the sidelines, I remained aloof until the vodka took effect. As extroverted as I am, I fear female rejection. I’m also no Patrick Swayze on the dance floor– I make up my moves on the fly, just like we did to “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” in the 70s. It’s a form of creative flailing that shows just how vanilla I am (well, I’m not as bad as some wedding dancers).

This wedding left me with questions about why I’ve never married despite having been in several long term relationships and what inner demons I must exorcise in order to enter the highest union. When the bride and groom shared their inspirations before exchanging vows, one thing the bride said stuck in my mind. She said that he had discovered her in a way that she could never see within herself. In loving her for who she is, in holding up a mirror to her soul, she could manifest her being in a way more profound and beautiful than she could have imagined.

What is the mystic calculus that enables two people to challenge one another, bring out the best and worst in one another, survive the inevitable clashing of egos, to weather the slings and arrows of matrimony and emerge greater than the sum of two parts? My grandmother, a wise woman with a twinkle in her cerulean blue eyes once told me the true triangle was two human beings joined together with God above. Although she wasn’t especially religious, her words stuck with me. It evokes the New Testament passage, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I also.”

Being at a special wedding reaffirms my desire to take the leap into the dark, numinous state of marriage. I’m old enough now to have overcome my earlier fantasies of ending up with a woman who looks like Jennifer Connelly. Whoever the ONE is that emerges from the ethers, I want to jump into the crucible and be transformed into a greater element than I could ever be alone.

With thunder rumbling above, and rain showers blessing the ceremony, the groom read this poem “La Pregunta” by Pablo Neruda:

Love, a question
has destroyed you.

I have come back to you
from thorny uncertainty.

I want you straight as
the sword or the road.

But you insist
on keeping a nook
of shadow that I do not want.

My love,
understand me,
I love all of you,
from eyes to feet, to toenails,
all the brightness, which you kept.

It is I, my love,
who knocks at your door.
It is not the ghost, it is not
the one who once stopped
at your window.
I knock down the door:
I enter your life:
I come to live in your soul:
you cannot cope with me.

You must open door to door,
you must obey me,
you must open your eyes
so that I may search in them,
you must see how I walk
with heavy steps
along all the roads
that, blind, were waiting for me.

Do not fear,
I am yours,
I am not the passenger or the beggar,
I am your master,
the one you were waiting for,
and now I enter
your life,
no more to leave it,
love, love, love,
but to stay.


  1. Love this one JJ. Truly beautiful...and so YOU. Love it. Please keep writing!

  2. Wow. That is so beautiful. You have such an amazing knack for writing what comes from the heart. You give hope to those jaded hearts out there. Keep using your talent!

  3. love it - hope you find someone to go into that other side soon - it is a beautiful thing - love your blog and thanks for sharing your thoughts~!~