“Marriage: that I call the will of two to create the one who is more than those who created it.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche
I love weddings. What is more reassuring than attending a ritual whose goal is to promise to love. Regardless of our knowledge or experience with it’s failure, we all want to believe in love and support the couples who are bold enough to take the leap. Wedding rituals are so universal that there is an element of cliché. Yet, even within the anticipated rituals of cake and first dances, they are also a completely unique experience for the couple that takes the leap to define their life together publicly.
Today was the wedding of my book’s first editor. Michelle is a young adventurous world traveler, gifted writer/journalist, humanitarian witness who helped me write, edit and organize my new love book. During our time together, we talked a lot about love as we both worked on the book and she worked on the relationship that she committed to today. I was honored to come and hear her make a promise that she had considered thoughtfully and articulated eloquently for some time.
Our work time on the book was often more of an inquiry into the meaning of our love choices and covered the many winding paths that described how our love had been and was now currently leading our lives. Our meetings often ran long, as we both came to leap into the long and deep dives into emotional terrain that we learned about as we spoke. My goal for the book when she left was to be able to give her the first copy for her wedding, which I am proud to say I fulfilled today.
She was stunning and buoyant. The location was in the heart of the beautiful Puget Sound, the food all grown on site was maybe the best wedding food I have ever eaten. Ever the loveologist, I love to put my two cents in at a wedding, and I was honored to stand up and share what I know of her brilliant rising star and how fortunate I felt to have known her in her destiny to greatness. I read the acknowledgment page, which credits her as the first of many people that made the love book real.
As I watched her glowing connection to her husband and thought about how much wisdom and adventure they had yet to discover together, I felt the buoyancy too. I realized that it is true, this poetic wisdom of Mary Oliver when she said that what we learn to see teaches us to feel. Celebrating the courage to love, witnessing the promises we make to each other, teaches us all how to feel and gives hope. Prioritizing love that makes us a better version of ourselves and feeds our capacity to relate is actually still our last great hope.