I'm taking comfort in the ceremony. I'm taking comfort in the tangled, nuanced readings I've found about the complexity of love, the complexity of this process. For me, this wedding has been such a hugely important and yet entirely despised effort, all at once. It's simply huge. It's about love, family, obligation, desire, authenticity, painful negotiations, incredible generosity, and new beginnings in ways I still haven't wrapped my head or heart around.
The focus on our ceremony brought me back to poetry, which I've strayed from for a long time. It brought me back to authors that I love, like Margaret Atwood. Her poem, "Habitation," is a reading that I've seen used in other weddings. "The Moment" isn't a wedding poem, but its words and images connect me with the raw truth of this wedding process. They capture a bit of the awe, the elusiveness, and yet the wonder at this huge thing we're undertaking. And somehow, they feel perfectly right.
Marriage is not
A house or even a tent
It is before that, and colder:
The edge of the forest, the edge
Of the desert
The unpainted stairs
At the back, where we squat
Outside, eating popcorn
Where painfully and with wonder
At having survived even
We are learning to make fire.
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.