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Thursday, May 28, 2009


I'm back!

And the wedding went beautifully. We had a wonderful time in idyllic surroundings in the company of lovely people we are privileged to know. Everything went smoothly: the sun shone, the registrars were great (and actually removed the 'marriage is between one man and one woman' bit of the ceremony on request, to my delight, so we managed to get married without demeaning our gay guests and, thus, ourselves), the party was fun, the food was delicious, the band rocked, the children behaved angelically, and it was all terrific. There was a real sense of community; it was just a happy, loving environment, and while I spent a lot of time running around saying hello to everyone, I had a fanatastic time. I'll put some pictures up once I work out how to get them off my camera.

Here are the readings we had. The first is from 'Songs of Travel' by Robert Louis Stevenson:

I know not how it is with you -
I love the first and last,
The whole field of the present view,
The whole flow of the past.

One tittle of the things that are,
Nor you should change nor I -
One pebble in our path - one star
In all our heaven of sky.

Our lives, and every day and hour,
One symphony appear:
One road, one garden - every flower
And every bramble dear.

The second is a 'late fragment' by Raymond Carver:

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Mazel tov!!!

How is Mika?
Welcome back and congratulations! Hope Mika has forgiven you for locking her away...
It sounds like it was a beautiful ceremony -- and your readings are just the right kind of magical-sounding words. :-) Congratulations.
Welcome back!

Since I never got around to saying something before the wedding, I'll say it now:
Congratulations and best wishes! May you have many long and happy years together.

Sounds like a lovely wedding--the best kind of wedding, where even the bride had a good time.

As for readings, well, there's always Nash's "Advice Outside a Church."
To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.
Not that you and Gareth seem to be the kind of people who need to be reminded of that fundamental truth, of course!

Your readings reminded me of Wendell Berry's "Country of Marriage"--do you know it?
Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.
We are more together
than we know, how else could we keep on discovering
we are more together than we thought?
You are the known way leading always to the unknown,
and you are the known place to which the unknown is always
leading me back.
Anyway, congratulations again, and I trust Mika has enjoyed her own vacation and welcomed you back with joy.
Congratulations to both of you!

And good for you for having the "man and woman only" language removed. As you may have heard, the California Supreme Court was reluctantly forced to affirm (though largely defang) the excremental Proposition 8. (There's already a movement towards repeal by the next available ballot.) The fact that you were willing to take a stand in your way for marriage equality is heartening and I hope that this silly dividing line can be erased in our lifetime.
Thank you everyone!

Oh, and Mika's fine. Was very keen to be taken home from the cat hotel and rather wired all last night; we left the bedroom door open and, according to Gareth, she spent a bit of time yelping in the corridor late at night then ran in insisting she'd had a bad dream and wanted to sleep with us, and spent the night on his feet... But she doesn't seem to hold a grudge, rather to my surprise. She's just a bit hyper, and calming down.

She also caught a frog this morning, to my horror. I discovered this early because I heard a little voice shrilling from the corner; did you know that frogs can scream? Fortunately she hadn't chewed it very much yet, so I locked her away, caught the frog, put it in a wet tupperware box and took it to the pond in the local park where no cats will molest it. It was dramatic.

Thanks for the Berry poem, Amaryllis; it's beautiful and I hadn't heard of it.

On the Nash score, my mother-in-law actually did read some Nash at the speeches (we had six short ones, on the principle that A. Women should be represented as much as men, so as well as the usual three we had mother of the groom, bride and one of the bridesmaids make speeches, and B. If you're going to have six speeches you have to keep them brief before the guests start digging a tunnel). This one, in fact:

How wise I am to have instructed the butler to instruct the first footman to instruct the second footman to instruct the doorman to order my carriage;
I am about to volunteer a definition of marriage.
Just as I know that there are two Hagens, Walter and Copen,
I know that marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut and a woman who can't sleep with the window open,
Also he can't sleep until he has read the last hundred pages to find out whether his suspicions of the murdered eccentric recluse's avaricious secretary were right,
And she can't sleep until he puts out the light,
Which when he finally does she is still awake and turns on hers,
And if he thinks she's going to turn it off before she finds out whether Janis marries the shy young clergyman or the sophisticated polo player, he errs.
Moreover, just as I am unsure of the difference between flora and fauna and flotsam and jetsam,
I am quite sure that marriage is the alliance of two people one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never forgetsam,
And the one refuses to believe there is a leak in the water pipe or the gas pipe and she is convinced she is about to asphyxiate or drown,
And the other says Quick get up and get my hairbrushes off the windowsill, it's raining in, and the one replies Oh they're all right, it's only raining straight down.
That is why marriage is so much more interesting than divorce,
Because it's the only known example of the happy meeting of the immovable object and the irresistible force.
So I hope husbands and wives will continue to debate and combat over everything debatable and combatable,
Because I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life, particularly if he has income and she is pattable.

Hearing it read in my mother-in-law's voice, fully of beautifully deadpan Canadian amusement, was the perfect rendition.
As you may have heard, the California Supreme Court was reluctantly forced to affirm (though largely defang) the excremental Proposition 8. Yes, that's awful isn't it? My condolences to anyone who lives in California and has to suffer under this rotten law.

Something strikes me about the whole business: defining marriage as heterosexual, and arguing that anything else undermines marriage, seems to imagine that gay and straight people live in separate communities. As I said before I left, I think one of the worst things about denying same-sex couples marriage rights (aside from the obvious fact that prejudice and second-class citizenship are Bad Things) is that it takes an institution that's supposed to affirm community ties and uses it to divide the community. Some people at my wedding either had had or could have weddings themselves; some people would have had to make do with 'civil partnerships'. While the guests themselves were extremely gracious party animals, the fact remained that the law mandated a degree of haves and have-nots in the wedding party. We did what we could to soften the insult, but the law remained what it so lamentably was.

And I don't feel my marriage would be undermined at all by my gay friends marrying. If anything, I think it would be supported: they are members of my community, and if they can get married it means my community is marriage-friendly throughout.

If, on the other hand, you think of gay and straight people as two separate communities, then the division of marriage rights serves to strengthen that supposed separateness: Our community is different from theirs and has different ways of being together. The divisiveness actually makes your community cohere, because marriage becomes an identity marker.

The trouble with this, of course, is that if you think you live in an all-heterosexual community, you need to read some statistics and look up the phrase 'in the closet'. The odds of any reasonable-sized communities have no gay or bisexual people are vanishing.

Thinking of same-sex marriage as something that needs to be separate seems to rest on the idea that you have no gay friends, relations, neighbours or colleagues, which is stupid.
wanders by and throws a handful of congratulatory rice...

...or birdseed ...

... or cat treats.

Mazel tov!

[verification word: "cralsf" -- a subgenre of speculative fiction recounting the unspeakable deeds of the incomprehensible Others]

...or birdseed...
... or in our case, lavender petails, which are nicely biodegradable yet scented. Plus some kids ringing handbells; I saw no reason why we shouldn't have bells just because it was a secular wedding.

I subsequently spent the entire day with enough lavender down my corset to make an entire bush, but never mind. :-)

Thank you!
Word: petails. A small sail used for steering in the days of tall ships.

Either that, or a typo for 'petals'. You decide.
Congratulations, best wishes, and welcome back! I am so glad everything went well--it all sounds more than delightful. (And good luck to the little frog, as well.)
Kit -- Tried to post before but my comment got eaten.

Congrats -- to both of you.
Congratulations, and may your marriage be as delightful as your wedding!

Glad Mika didn't hold a grudge, and hope the frog lives to hop away from the next cat it sees.
Ah! Throwing lavender petals instead of rice or seed--love it! I grow several varieties of lavender, and dry and save it. Oh, yesss...!

It's a ways away yet, but not too soon to be thinking of small details for my daughter's wedding. I love this one and will be sure to tell her.

Welcome back, Kit! Sounds like a beautiful wedding and fine portents for life going forward. I and my Quad Squad send skritches to the lovely Mika as well.
Congratulations from down here in Darkest America as well. Since I'm currently resisting the urge to offer long-winded advice, I'll simply offer my best wishes in its stead.

Verification word: goersoo, to which I can only respond, "Gesundheit!"
Oh, how beautiful. I'm so glad the day came and passed in the most glorious, happiest way possible. May the two of you have a long, bright future full of joy.

Thank you for sharing the poetry from your ceremony. What lovely choices! I'm a little choked up just reading them; I'll never make it through trying to read them aloud to my husband, but I think I'd like to on the occasion of our next anniversary.

Blessings, love, joy, a long life full of all good things to y'all.
Congrats and mazel tov!

I didn't post in the previous thread, but we're having Peter Gabriel's "Book of Love" at our wedding. It's cute and sweet, just like my pookie!

Word o' the day: Undroper. The person who picks up your socks, keys, Legos, etc.
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