You will note from my previous entry, that my friends Allison and Holly, though excited to be getting married from the love-each-other-very-much perspective, they were more than a little dubious about participating in an institution which, up until very recently, had excluded them from its hallowed halls.
So, we all approached this ceremony a little differently. We, I would say, sauntered thoughtfully towards it.
Rather than sitting down with them to have a big, deep chat about their relationship, and all the different elements of a ceremony from which they might choose, we had a couple of philosophical email exchanges, and then I just showed up at their house with some text that they’d found about the novelist Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, and a couple of props.
We hung out in their kitchen for about an hour just talking about their thoughts, issues, and desires to create a marriage which was reflective of them, and not any societal expectations for how anyone – gay or straight – should run a relationship.
Then we meditated for 10 minutes to ground ourselves, and wandered down a path through the woods behind their house to their Ceremony Tree. We lit a candle, shooed away a few mosquitoes, and began.
Because they’d said they weren’t exchanging rings, I brought a beautiful strip of beaded leather that my best friend Jeannette made for my wedding lo, these many years ago, and turned the heart of the ceremony into a hand-fasting.
Since Allison is a cartoonist and graphic novelist and Holly is a painter who also makes incredible compost bins, it seemed appropriate to focus some attention on their hands – tools with which they make manifest all manner of remarkable creations.
The dance of their partnership also made me think of (and remark upon) what we’ve learned this week about Pluto and Charon.
Pluto, it turns out, isn’t a planet with a moon named Charon. Pluto and Charon are actually a binary planet, as the focal point of their revolutions is between them. So rather than Charon orbiting around Pluto, they orbit around each other.
This seemed like a more than appropriate metaphor for an egalitarian partnership. Plus, you know, space.
Fortunately, everything seems to have worked according to our non-plan, as we made it through the ceremony with senses of both humor and honor intact
It’s a remarkable moment for a person to find herself going from Outsider to Insider status – due to the long arc of history as much as personal development. And I know both these gals gave their choices as much compassion and conscious thought and deep discussion as they could, so that nothing would ever be taken for granted.
I have great faith in their ability to remain wholly themselves. And while in a certain sense they’re now Total Insiders, they still have hard-beating Rebel Hearts. And that – along with their deep regard for each other – is something which will never change.