some kind of otherness
Last Saturday, while the city was mired in Kennedy memorial traffic and sitting dankly under darkening skies of the latest tropical storm, a small group of people with love in their hearts were gathering in Cambridge to witness two people who had found their loves; their otherness in each other.
When I first met M. and J., they were concerned with their friends and family enjoying themselves at their wedding. This wedding, I knew then, would be about the people being there together. And M. and J.? found ways to lovingly weave their family and friends into the ceremony itself, as well as the celebration around it.
The ceremony began with three thoughtful and fairly cerebral readings: “Are You There?” by W. H. Auden, a section of A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway, and T.S. Eliot’s “A Dedication to My Wife.” Each piece was read beautifully by friends. The respective fathers of the bride and groom officiated and welcomed the gathered guests. Later each father, beaming with joy, delivered heartwarming toasts to their children. The wedding took place at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, in their absolutely gorgeous restored theater. Due to the weather, the room housed both the ceremony and the dinner reception.
For those unfamiliar with the Auden poem – Enjoy!
Are You There?
Each lover has some theory of his own
About the difference between the ache
Of being with his love, and being alone:
Why what, when dreaming, is dear flesh and bone
That really stirs the senses, when awake,
Appears a simulacrum of his own.
Narcissus disbelieves in the unknown;
He cannot join his image in the lake
So long as he assumes he is alone.
The child, the waterfall, the fire, the stone,
Are always up to mischief, though, and take
The universe for granted as their own.
The elderly, like Proust, are always prone
To think of love as a subjective fake;
The more they love, the more they feel alone.
Whatever view we hold, it must be shown
Why every lover has a wish to make
Some kind of otherness his own:
Perhaps, in fact, we never are alone.
The groom gets his tie on.
First Look on the porch.
One hundred black silk buttons. The groom’s sisters help bustle the bride.
Father of the bride gets de-linted before the ceremony.
The bride, with nervous excitement, puts the ring on the wrong hand and can’t get it off again.
Making everything legal.
Dining in the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center theater.
Laughing at the toasts.
During the first dance, the bride’s aunt was enthusiastically circling them on the dance floor.