May 23, 2014

Once Upon A Dream

“Why do people even get married? It is because we need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”

-Shall We Dance, Susan Sarandon

Even at this point, with all that I am going through as of the moment, I can still say for sure that I love weddings. I love being able to witness two people enter that sacred bond of matrimony with so much confidence and sure footedness that I can not even imagine or fathom. I mean, I can't even decide what shoes to wear in the morning... obviously, I am quite sure I am still not ready to make a sacred commitment that will last a lifetime and that is probably why I think that moments like these are memorable and important because if anything, it proves to me that truly there is a kind of love that is willing to endure all. Without dredging too deep into the circumstances of my personal life, suffice to say, that I am absolutely not anywhere close to getting married. I am not even quite sure that I will ever get married but I know the automatic response to this statement..."yes, yes never say never." Anyway regardless of my matrimonial eventuality, I've still got a raging interest and passion on weddings. I am sure that for Charles and Aizza who got married on the day I wore this gown. it's not especially about the presents (not that anyone- myself included- would ever say no to presents), nor is it about needing attention. It is about every other special, sentimental, celebratory detail that weddings afford time to indulge in. It was a beautiful afternoon in April (an exception I must say since it was already summer) and an equally cool night for an outdoor reception... I do not know if it was really the weather or if I was getting the chills from the extraordinary amount of love in one place. But I, for one can say, that day...their day...was decadent and so full of love. It was almost like a fairy tale.

There is tremendous power in rituals . That is why there have always been so many- big and small, for every variety of occasion, ailment and remembrance since humans beings have existed. The thing about weddings that I especially love is the fact that it is all about putting so much positive energy, from so many people, into making every aspect of the ritual beautiful and perfect and filled with love. A newly married couple, like Aizza and Charles on that day, can scarcely help but walk away from that day feeling their good luck reserves are at maximum capacity as they go forward together. In essence, I believe that is the point.: to all get together and drum up so much good vibes which is what these two good people deserve to start the newlyweds off on the best possible note. Good energy, prayers, karma, good juju... whatever what you want to call it, I believe that the point of a wedding (of course other  than seeing your friends get hammered and paw at each other after the reception) is to imbue the people you care about- in this case, Aizza and Charles, with an abundance of it as they launch into a new part of their lives, and for giving them a resounding round of applause and high five for getting as far as they already have. In essence, I think it's nice to have the opportunity to have everyone they love gathered in one room, eating high-calorie but absolutely divine food where they can listen to the couple tearfully express heir gratitude for their presence in their life. I mean, ladies, let us all be honest here: who doesn't want a microphone and waterproof mascara and really good champagne? And who wouldn't want to wear a beautiful wedding dress- Aizza's, I have to say was a breathtaking masterpiece which I have to say was painstakingly beaded and sewn to perfection that is perhaps the most well-constructed and most expensive sartorial purchase in a woman's life. And with good reason; one's wedding is arguably the single day in every woman's life when you put yourself together with a heightened attention to every detail of how you look, from your hair to your shoes, to your nails to your skin to you earrings, and so on. When Aizza floated down the aisle though, it seemed effortless and she was in all ways possible radiant. The doors opened and she walked into a room where everyone she knew fixed their whole attention to her and she looked festive and flawless. She was the bright and glowing embodiment of such a beautiful moment and everyone saw that but what everyone thought didn't matter because only one person's attention mattered to her and that was of Charles'... her husband-to-be.

I think that we need more times and events when our lives, officially being bound together, are honored. It is worth noting that weddings still mean the same thing they originally did. That is a given. There is no point in trying to detract from its loveliness or the weight of what the ceremony marks. I love weddings. I am not, in any way, one of those people who complain that weddings are awful and cheesy and boring because wholeheartedly, I believe they are not... these occasions are beautiful. I cannot emphasize enough how much I love them. And yes, I will be that guest, who will forever be enthusiastic about it. I will eat your cake, drink (or in this case plank) over your booze, dance to lively after party songs with your friends I just met... And I will kiss you and your beloved and tell you how beautiful you are, and how genuinely happy for you I am, and I will mean it very much. 

It is important to note that the unspoken subtext of a wedding is NOT as it once was. While those who are jaded and bitter, it is easy to think "Thank God, you have found someone to provide for you. He is strong, and you will not starve. Together you are now united and take care of your parents and bear children and did I mention we will all not starve now? Hooray and make merry!" In this day and age where we get to make our own choices, I think it is absolutely cruel to think so and you have to be a special kind of awful to think such. Modern marriages, I find, are generally seen as an occasion to commemorate the fact that two people, in spite of the mounting general emotional dysfunction of society, have managed to fend off hoards of sociopaths, perverts, and gold diggers and have found somebody to love. And furthermore, that two people feel so connected, compatible, and committed to one another that they can believe in love that is forever. They are investing in permanence, they are expanding their family by choice and that is a thing that doesn't happen very often in life. For me, that is a moment worth celebrating. 

However the actual celebration ends up looking, and what specific moments we create new big, bold commemorations for, I think it's time to start brainstorming what symbolic rituals, joyful gatherings, and respectful ceremonies we can integrate in the thoroughly proud, diverse society that we are hopefully becoming. Like I said, I love weddings. Having the chance to go to a festive event filled with love and commitment like that of the wedding of Aizza and Charles's, and concocting meaningful ways not just to show equal laws but also and more importantly, EQUAL LOVE? I cannot find a downside to that.

Allow me to say that it takes courage to enter such a commitment. I consider people brave when they are willing to create something...anything and send it out into the world. I consider people brave if they do not back down, even when there are tons of people giving you reasons as to why you should. Conviction, being unapologetic about who they are, running out of cares to give: I find that, based on the current situation of my life and how I have been left behind, these things sometimes feel like they are going extinct in our culture... and to be frank, I find that terrifying. After all, it is the brave ones who make this world a whole lot more interesting. 

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Navalta.

xx, JL

On-site video of the event:

Photos from the night:



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