Hello, gentle people.
It’s been a day or two since I’ve written – let’s just say that my attention was focused elsewhere. That being said, the primary object of my attention has a full time job and I am on leave and soon to be (quite happily) unemployed and on the Trail. Alas, it’s snowing, so I am not outside playing with my ultra lightweight hiking gear – Bavaria never ceases to astound.
In case the news missed you, Loc and I married one another in a simple ceremony in Copenhagen on February 29, 2016. The venue was the Marriage Hall of the Copenhagen City Hall, and the ritual in its entirety took a brief but beautiful four minutes. I could not have asked for a more perfect way to conduct such a significant ceremony – without pomp, without circumstance, without pretense, but rich with meaning.
After introducing himself and confirming our identities, the official who performed our marriage gave this short but eloquent speech:
“A wedding is a joyful occasion, but it also applies deep commitment. Marriage is one of the most important events in a person’s life; it gives you rights, but also responsibilities, and it assumes a desire to live with each other in mutual love, helpfulness, and tolerance. Marriage is perhaps the greatest and most challenging adventure of human relationships. No ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that through love, patience, and dedication; through talking, listening, helping, supporting, and believing in each other; and through tenderness and light.
I hope that your marriage will be harmonious and meaningful and that you will protect everything that makes your relationship so special that you have decided to get married.”
I fully intent to print, frame, and prominently display that short speech – it speaks volumes in its brevity.
There were twelve couples waiting to marry after us, but we did not feel harried. Why we were the first couple to wed is beyond me – we registered just in advance of the six week advance notification. By any measure, we were given a beautiful venue to celebrate the occasion in the wedding hall proper after the ceremony. In attendance were a crew of our friends from our community here in Germany, and my parents and youngest brother all the way from Vermont. It was an honor to have so many people converge on such short notice, and especially to have the love and support of my parents, who went so far as to apply for passports and travel abroad for the first time since the summer of 2001 to be there.
I will just say, to go from growing up in a religion that tells me that an essential element of my nature is morally wrong to having my family at my side at such a significant life event speaks volumes to the power of love over dogma – I am most richly blessed.
When I wrote about Loc in October, we had already moved in together. We both had plans through Thanksgiving, and I through Christmas, and we agreed to keep those plans as a show of mutual respect for our distinct but merging lives. If I had any doubt in my mind that he was the one for me, I lost it all when I came back from my trip to Rome to find my keyboard and all of my music books set up in the corner of his living room. When I bought that setup at West Point, it came in four large boxes; I went so far as to buy my first car to accommodate the length of my keyboard. I specifically chose a first floor apartment for ease of transporting the instrument; he hauled it across town and up three flights of stairs. It was an act of vulnerability, and it endeared him inalienably to me.
Getting married so soon after meeting was not stressful; it just felt right. It was the natural progression of something that both of us had held out for a long time to find. We began discussing rings after Thanksgiving, and I purchased them while at home for Christmas. Their interior is lined with rosewood, and their exterior is titanium, the joining of art and science, nature and industry. They symbolize the merging of our two lives, just as much as an anniversary that only occurs every four years expresses a love that transcends time… and the boundary pushing that feeds both our souls.
I tend not to be so serious in the presence of my boo – we both find in one another a wellspring of youth, goofiness, and joy. Not a day passes that we don’t exchange a goofy kiss or a goofy smile. Not one incident in our ten day road trip through the Balkans led either of us to sour the day by a loss of composure (much opportunity when you have no data and your GPS is out of date). I’d say we’re already quite practiced in the patience and tolerance departments – it helps that he finds a way to pack his own purchases on the road, and I pay for my speeding tickets. Note – don’t speed in France; while going 20km over in Germany will result in a 20 euro fine, going 10km over in France will result in a 45 euro fine. On the bright side, France has an app that allows you to pay through your phone! Germany likes to linger in the dark ages of digital communication – I imagine at least part of it has to do with the reverence Germans have for nature, but I can’t confirm.
Fortunately, we have a lifetime to ascertain the answer.
Here’s to sharing it with you, boo.