March 25, 2006

Before it becomes fuzzy with time

I am not sure if I will ever get married. Until the 4 March 2006 I rather thought I wouldn't mind if I didn't. I have often thought about one day procuring a beautiful white dress, some dark-haired abstract of a man (that had a relatively minor role in the fairytale considering), and running around some small rustic earthen-coloured village in Southern Italy where I knew absolutely noone other than my betrothed. I would dance amongst the vineyards. I would have a bouquet of wildflowers. I would be ferried around in an old wooden horse-drawn cart. I would curtsey to the locals. I would be married by the local drunken priest, and it wouldn't matter if the marriage was a sham as a result. Because it was of such little import to me.

Well, I am going to southern italy in a few months. I don't expect I will be marrying anyone anytime soon. But I feel a lot warmer to the idea of an actual wedding after attending the Bear's recently; If you had the right kind of person to marry, one that lifted you above all the bizarre ceremony and expectations of others and with that one day, carried you many years down a path that was always the one you intended to walk. But now the walking is in concert with someone that you want to open your eyes to every morning, who's name will fall off peoples lips in conjunct with yours like the two words are one. Your day will be complete having that person at its cessation, to unload all of life's oddities and peculiarities that have permeated your clothing, to hold you if you need sadness wrung out of you, to reflect the fire in your eyes when you have claimed a day for your own.

I rather hate chronology for moments like this. Where to begin in a manner that is not so tiresomely at the beginning. But I suppose the day began for me, in seeing Bear in bed with her sister. Her eyes were scrunched up with lack of sleep and her unkempt red hair splayed about her. There is a nervous anticipation amongst us even now, a fiery humour injected in the conversation to keep panic at bay, a light in everyones eyes that belies the calm exteriors. The bride has not slept well for days, perhaps longer. Her sister Kate and I walk to the supermarket. It is a sleepy little town, the kind that stays in its bedclothes all day, but there is a statehighway running through it giving lifeblood. The sky is a newly washed blue, and the sun is warm and full of promise the way only a sun can be when the morning air is hushed with the taint of ensuing Winter. I like her sister. She is vivacious and her conversation warms me up. The walk past primly kept gardens and sedate cottage-style homes does us good. Then we get back, the house is now pulsing with purpose, pancakes are made, and eaten with a sense of what must be acheived today. Bear stirs her food, then her and Kate and their mother are swept off to the hairdressers where they will be held captive for a good part of the morning. There are lists. There are bags to be packed. There are freshly picked flowers and candles and decorators to be delivered to the reception hall. There are people swirling around in such a way that these things will be done. I feel slightly impotent and yet pressed. I arrive at the hairdressers and watch Bear submit to the machinations of the hairdresser and the make up lady and then listen to her fret about it afterwards. The woman has painted her in a way that isn't her. At home we all gaggle in the bathroom with potions and wares and colours spread across the basin, and this is the point of despair. There is a subtling down of eye makeup. And then we dress and there is an instant transformation. The dress is exquisite. It was tailored specifically for this delicate soul and in it she unfolds. Bear's mum struggles with the bridesmaid's dress and bra straps. There is some concern over curls unravelling and dresses creasing. The photographer arrives and with his foreign presence snapping away we ascend yet another octave. I revel in the knowing glances I get from her mum. I practice my reading with her little brother, and his freckles flush red under my gaze, "Stop looking at me". I laugh and listen to him with my eyes diverted. I feel so utterly welcome and comfortable with these people, and so completely blessed to be sharing this day with them, and drunk and heady on vicarious titillation.

We are in a violet-indigo coloured V8 Chevvy impala. The steering column is on the wrong side of the car, both front and back are bench seats and there are no seat belts in the back. There is a white streamer in a v formation across the hood and a strange little doll boring her eyes into our backs. The engine seeths in a way that makes our voices vibrate.
"You are terminated".
We are all giggles and ecstasy and wide eyed in the backseat. The music has to be changed to save the eye makeup. Kate and I hungrily eye the bubbly at our feet. We stop so Bear can get back in her dress that had been shed to avoid creasing. Her Nana beckons and I run back around the car and help her and her train back in. It is like being on a voyage with royalty.

We hum through the curvaceous Athenree gorge and the noise of the engine ricochets off the cliff face to our left. To our right is a sprightly stream light-dappled from the abundant trees lining its banks. And then we are at the gate and Bear's mum and dad leap in to the car for the final leg, there are festive anomalies in the green, there are heads turning, there is a final adjustment to the bride's dress, there is music. I am amongst my friends, but with the stupid handycam that i will never in all my days operate again. And through it's unsteady lens I see a beaming Kate in deep pink. She is followed by Sarah, her parents on either side of her, she is a glorious contrast to the country green surroundings in vintage-cream silk and Titian-haired. I am overcome when they exchange vows. With his articulate intensity, and her soaking it in with upturned eyes, and then reciprocating, the depth of emotion in her words a further contrast to her ethereal and romantic form. This is no longer a surreal game. It is as real as the Autumn-ripe grass beneath our feet. With the harbour at their backs, and those who loved them cupped around them like the calyx of a flower, they were married. Mr Bear's brother Jeremy crooned an up-beat song about the sea-side as they signed the Register, and then I spoke, the words taped into A Tale of Two Cities with a sticky plaster, but I knew them, and either with nerves or emotion I quavered the words out. And I touched Bear's arm on my way past, and her eyes were wet. And the two of them standing there looked so small, so young, and yet so perfect.

I rather think the lot of them, the Bears and their parents danced away back down the aisle and then came back to lots of hugging and photos. And I went up and hugged Mr Bear, who I hadn't seen all day, rather shyly for me I thought. And Bear I only talked to fleetingly for the rest of the night too, for sort of the same shy reason. I got to say everything I really wanted to say in my speech later. But it was as if banal words fail you in moments like that.

I do think it is the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to, and had the honour of contributing to. I can only hope, should I get married, that it is as personal and heartfelt as was theirs.

March 19, 2006

This is beautiful wedding bear - and this is the poem i read

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

March 16, 2006

Today I have had my fill

of doctors. Tomorrow I am going to tell work I am leaving. And I have no job lined up to go to, but a trip that will exhaust all my savings....but I have applied for a job with a criminal law firm in Tauranga that pays nearly a million dollars less than what I get paid now....what the hell.

March 14, 2006

What might have been

It is interesting to note those moments in your life that have a watercolour effect across your soul. When outwardly you are you, but you are undertaking some metamorphic transformation and you simultaneously step outside the chrysalis to watch the struggle for release from a shaded branch above. And you watch your priorities subside, a grainy cascade between spreadeagled fingers, and you are left staring at an empty, hopeful palm. Pain is pumped devoutly through your bloodstream and the effect is a sky that's infinitely bluer, a city pulsatingly more vibrant. Life itself is more pungent. It's like the nauseating whiff of a sickly sweet lily.

An awareness. A stillness that is reflection and a huge poignant swallow from a bitter cup. A lower lip that is heavier, eyes become deep set dishes, even the usually vociferous palate misplaces its zest. And there is desire. An indigo flamed desire to move and keep moving.

I have been to a few funerals. I have been to my mother's funeral and enjoyed it. I have been to a funeral of a school friend who committed suicide, and I watched the boys from the 1st XV cry like babies. But the saddest was the funeral of a stillborn baby, my mum had watched her futile entry into the world. At the funeral I watched her mother, who was the same age as me, stand with incredible courage and explain that this was so much harder than losing her mother to cancer. Because (in so many words) she was mourning not the person that she loved and lost, with memories to assuage the pain. Instead she mourned the person she would never knew.

How to mourn that amorphous what might have been?

March 06, 2006

In breaking news

The Bears are married, at the most beautiful ceremony, it was a tear jerker.

And the boy has broken up with me. Which is also a bit of a tear jerker.

I expect I will write more on both these items in the near future.