Despite somewhat harrowing travel misadventures (barfing in air, bag losing, etc.), we were thrilled to be in Cape Cod this past weekend for the wedding of our dearest Charlottesville friends. I only took a tiny handful of photos, so you’ll have to excuse the quality/quantity, but I exhibit them here as proof of the magical weekend.
The brides with L’s nephew, at the rehearsal dinner
The glowing brides at the rehearsal dinner
And a shot of me officiating (barefoot! Forgot my shoes, whoops) the ceremony, taken by Guion (who provided the sweet ceremony music with our good friend Julie)
We are so ineffably happy for these two and feel so honored to have joined in the celebration. They are some of our favorite people on Earth, and we are full of joy that they are finally married. Pure delight.
And now we are happy to be back in London, back “home,” where the roses in Regent’s Park are winding down but the days are steadily getting warmer.
We are celebrating six years of marriage in Berlin today! While we’re experiencing the city with Grace and Jack, I am increasingly convinced, as I look over at Guion, that there isn’t anyone else I’d rather have with me during our European summer—and during the whole of my life, however long it may be.
This passage from Woolf’s diary expresses so much of what I feel about the daily work and magic of marriage:
Arnold Bennett says that the horror of marriage lies in its ‘dailiness.’ All acuteness of a relationship is rubbed away by this. The truth is more like this: life — say 4 days out of 7 — becomes automatic; but on the 5th day a bead of sensation (between husband and wife) forms which is all the fuller and more sensitive because of the automatic customary unconscious days on either side. That is to say the year is marked by moments of great intensity. Hardy’s ‘moments of vision.’ How can a relationship endure for any length of time except under these conditions?
— Virginia Woolf, autumn 1926 (A Writer’s Diary)
As all of the days pile up, I am inexpressibly grateful to be accumulating them with Guion.
Reading Sally Mann’s excellent memoir, Hold Still, has made me feel particularly compelled to keep better photographic archives. In that vein, I finally uploaded and successfully archived our wedding photographs, which were shot by the incomparable Meredith Perdue.
It was such a delight to look back through these photos, especially the less glamorous or amusing ones that I had forgotten about. Without further ado, here are some wedding outtakes. Just because. It’s a cold, blustery November day, and looking at these pictures fills me with a sunny, Chapel Hill brand of romantic nostalgia.
Some of our best friends in town are getting married tomorrow, and we are flush with excitement, almost as if we were getting married again. We are so happy for them and we have been anticipating this day for years now. Guion reported that when someone asked him to make plans this week, his first thought was, “Oh, I can’t do anything this week; it’s wedding week.”
One of my chief pleasures is eating lunch during the work week on the back deck, with the dogs milling around the yard and the carpenter bees and wasps congregating near the table. I think I have already written about this, but this practice provides my mental and emotional state with so much energy and relief. It is probably just the benefit of being outside, after four hours in a cube, staring at a screen, but my outdoor lunches can improve the gloomiest mood. I eat slowly; I drink a LaCroix; I read a novel; I throw a stick for Edie; I watch the chickens; I listen to the birds; I feel like a million bucks. (And then I go back to the office.)
We saw Sufjan play in Richmond this week (a moving, excellent show; I’m always in the mood for him). One of the memorable, nonmusical delights of the evening was spotting an old friend from college up in the balcony. We texted from afar, confirming our identities, and I waved repeatedly. We shouted to each other briefly, him from the balcony down to me in the orchestra level, but we weren’t able to meet up afterward. Still, just seeing him filled me with this satisfactory nostalgia. Here we are, after so much time has passed; happy and complete in our adult lives.
I keep a little notebook now, to ease myself back into the practice of keeping some form of a handwritten diary. After about 16 years of daily journaling, I abruptly stopped once I got married. It was as if keeping a diary wasn’t important anymore, now that I had a spouse — which admittedly is a very odd psychological conclusion. But I’d like to get back into the practice, if only to keep up the habit of composing sentences by hand. Even if they’re not very good sentences. The notebook is a hodgepodge of loose diary entries, vocabulary words, and notes on what I’m reading.
I am usually writing about what I am reading there, but I realized the other day that I am only taking notes on fiction. I mentioned this to an acquaintance, and he remarked that that was a very odd habit. “Why wouldn’t you take notes on nonfiction instead?” he asked. “To, you know, remember actual facts and information?” I didn’t have an answer then, but I think I record fiction passages and resultant thoughts because I am often so much more moved by a novel than by a factual account. I am impressed by the beauty, and that is the sensation I don’t want to forget. Data will ebb and flow. But it’s the art that’s worth remembering.
On the morning of my wedding, I was lying in the hotel bed that I had shared the night before with my mother. Mom was getting ready in the bathroom. But I was still in bed, very absorbed in an episode of America’s Next Top Model. I have always been drawn by the novelty of freely accessible cable TV, a luxury perpetually unknown to me. After 15 minutes of inactivity, Mom looked at me and said, “Um, are you going to get out of bed and get married? Or just stay here and watch Tyra?”
Today, I happily celebrate four years of marriage to Guion. Every year with him just keeps getting better and better! Soon, we’re just going to reach this weird, silent, blissful nirvana in which we have no need for language. OK, not really. Marriage is hard. But there’s no one else I’d rather be yoked with; I can’t even imagine a better partner.
And now, some infrequently seen photos from our wedding day, taken by the incomparably great Meredith Perdue. Click on a thumbnail to flip through the gallery.
Guion’s beautiful cousin Katie got married this past week to Ben, a charming groom, and we were grateful to attend their celebration in the Georgia mountains. Requisite photo dump in the gallery below! Click on a photo to flip through the gallery.