All of these relationships matter, but I hold a special place in my heart for the women I met right at the beginning of this blogging/engagement journey, when they were at the start of their engagement journeys as well. A Cupcake Wedding is one of those special women. We immediately bonded over a shared appreciation for Jonathan Safran Foer, wedding pinatas, cake alternatives, and a shared frustration about planning a simple wedding on a limited budget. We've been feisty in each others comment sections. We've been indignant over each others' challenges. Most importantly, perhaps, we've cheered each others' victories.
And Saturday, she's getting married. It makes me so happy that I could cry. In fact, truth be told, I'm getting teary just writing this post. We've traveled this journey together from the start of our blogs and now her wedding journey is finally culminating in her marriage. She's the first of my from-the-beginning blog peers to reach this point, and I owe so many moments of sanity and clarity to her support and humor along the way. My wedding planning process has been immeasurably enriched by her blog and her friendship, and now her wedding planning process is coming to an end. Her friends and family are wrapping her in their love in these final days and that she's able to see past the ongoing challenges and into everything that matters between her and her partner and among her community.
Her words have inspired me so much along the way, and her ceremony series alone is reason enough to read her blog. And so, I thought it would be fitting to try and find inspiring words for her, as I wish her and her partner all the joy in the world as they enter into marriage. I had thought of using Jonathan Safran Foer or Pablo Neruda, but their words are already woven into her ceremony and they were hers to choose. And so, instead, I selected some of my favorite musings on love and what it means over a lifetime. Cupcake, congratulations on your marriage, and I'll be thinking of you and your love and joy on Saturday.
But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take…It is indeed a fearful gamble…Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.
To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility, it is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity, in freedom. In the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting as it is now. For relationships, too, must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the security of the winged life, of the ebb and flow of intermittency.
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
- Louis de Bernieres