Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One Month From Today...

...I am getting married. I am entirely ready for this, and yet so behind on our task list I want to cry. It's like I'm getting pulled in 723 different directions all at once, and my brain is no longer has the ability to retain or analyze information. My weekends are now entirely full from 8am - 10pm with the wedding. The wedding seeps into my workday. The wedding is stealing my sleep, as my brain runs through unfinished to-do list needs and calendar availability panics. The wedding to-do list also has a unique ability to multiply: for every item I cross off, five more suddenly appear.

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
This far
We are learning to make fire.

The Moment
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.

-Margaret Atwood


  1. Holy cow. How did it get to be one month?

    I think you are handling this by focusing on exactly.the right.thing.

  2. Hold on, dear. You'll make it.

    And Margaret Atwood is one of my all time faves.

  3. Wow, both of those poems were so beautiful, so calming, and inspired a moment of quiet reflections after them. Wonderful.

    You are so close, I can only send you my loving vibes of perseverance to get through the last few weeks. You can do it, even if it seems overwhelming.

  4. the hubby asked a friend to do the reading, and as a bibliophile we let him pick the reading.
    he choose habitation.

    the hubby read it to me and i burst into tears. it was the perfect reading for us.

    also one month YAY!

  5. eeek One more month! Things will just start to fall in to place. Don't worry. :) Enjoy this last month of being engaged!!

  6. I adore Margaret Atwood. Thank you for posting these!

  7. beautiful poems...i love being introduced to new poets and writers...i can't believe you're a month away, but i think you're doing AWESOME. you'll get it together and i'm with mrs. tortolita...enjoy it.

  8. Hang in there girlina - it is all worth it in the end. You are on your final drive to the end of the line and it's going to be wonderful. Your posts have been such an inspiration to me and I appreciate all the insight you have given me.

  9. so exciting! I know your wedding day is going to be amazing! and I have a feeling, from reading your blog from the beginning, that your marriage will be even better :

  10. I am so happy for you. And I wish you all the peace and beauty and love you wished me. You are a wonderful person and your soon-to-be-hubby better know it. Enjoy this experience!


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