Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Post-Wedding Blues

Seems like an odd title, doesn't it?  The post-wedding blues...what does that mean?  Well, I'll tell you.

It's like that feeling after you go to summer camp and spend a whole week (or two) with good friends, going swimming, hiking, running, singing, playing pranks, and then you go home and you're depressed because you miss being with great people all the time and instead you're alone on your couch.  You're coming down from the summer camp 'high'.  That's exactly what it feels like now.

Weddings go way too fast.  Especially given the amount of time put in to them, they go way too fast.  All of our best friends and family flew in to town and it was a crazy whirlwind of fun, celebration and emotion and then they were gone!  I'm still processing all of that.  What's made it even more difficult is that Micael and I went straight back to work after the wedding--we won't go on our honeymoon until September 4--so we still haven't spent much time together as husband and wife yet.

However, all of that said, these 'blues' are fleeting.  I keep getting the question--How is wedded life?  And the immediate is wonderful.  Not so much because the wedding changed anything between us, but actually because the wedding having passed, it's given us back to one another.  No more planning, no more stress and anticipation, Micael comes home at the end of the day or I get back from the restaurant and we sit together, eat dinner, watch a movie, joke and laugh about nothing.  Just like it was, we were, before we got engaged--but now we have a more open window into each others' lives because of the family and friends we've met and opened ourselves to.  It's like us, but now with richer colors all around.

One of our most beautiful wedding gifts was a handmade quilt made for us by my Aunt Sharon.  It sits now on our couch and it seems to me a fitting symbol of our new life.  We always used to sit on the couch before--watching a movie, talking about work, life, the future--often with a blanket over or around us.  Now that blanket is one that was made for us by my Aunt, with a blessing on it for our marriage.  Now as we sit on the couch we are not only us, we are us more tangibly wrapped up by those we love.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thomas's Poem

Love's Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle
Why not I with thine?

See! the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower would be forgiven,
if it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Caron's Poem

Sonnet 17

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

in which there is no I or you
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand
so intimate that when you fall asleep it is my eyes that close

Pablo Neruda

Emily's Prayer

For Marriage/ John O'Donohue

As spring unfolds the dream of the earth,
may you bring each other's hearts to birth.

As the ocean finds calm in view of land,
may you love the gaze of each other's mind.

As the wind arises free and wild,
may nothing negative control your lives.

As kindly as moonlight might search the dark,
so gentle may you be when light grows scarce.

As surprised as the silence that music opens,
may your words for each other be touched with reverence.

As warmly as the air draws in the light,
may you welcome each other's every gift.

As elegant as dream absorbing the night,
may sleep find you clear of anger and hurt.

As twilight harvests all the day's color,
may love bring you home to each other.

Ioanna's blessings

Tying your hands together:

Shows the unity that you two are committing. Marriage is a sacrament and a miracle in that you enter the church (in your case, your deck) as two seperate beings, and you leave as one, united by God. So tying your two hands together gives this reminder to us that under the eyes of God you are now one whole being.

The honey:

I gave you honey so your marriage is always sweet. There is an underlying theme too: just as the bees work hard in order to produce the sweet honey, you have to constantly be working hard in your marriage so it can always be full of sweetness.

Metal Rod:

I had you stand on the metal rod so your marriage is always strong and tough. (Later your dad told me that it's metal rods just like that, that he used in order to build/ support the deck, which you had the ceremony on- isn't that funny?)


This fruit has many seeds signifying abundance. So I gave it to you in order for the two of you to be prosperous and fruitfull. Traditionally this was given by the mother-in-law to the daughter-in-law before the marriage.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Diablo lake magic

I choose you

Under a thick summer rain and the soft voices of emotion, it was difficult to hear what was said last Saturday. Here are the words Micael and I shared with one another.


Briana, I choose you.

From the moment we met I found myself drawn to you and could not help but want to constantly talk to you. We spoke of traveling, food, culture, and everything else we were learning about. Your kindness and thoughtfulness is part of what made it possible to share so much with you. Today I am here to tell you that I will be here to continue sharing all of me with you through the good and bad times ahead in our journey together. That I will take care of you along this journey and express the love that I have for you each and every day, no matter the place, or the language.

Je t'aime, te quiero, te amo, I love you.



I didn’t know when I met you that I would fall in love with you. But after learning who you were and who we were together, I fell very hard. And in that falling there was a choosing. I chose you then and I’ve chosen you every day since.

I love you for your kindness, your patience, your gentleness, your curiosity. I love you for the person you bring out in me, for making me feel at home when I’m with you.

Now, I vow to love you in our life together—in the small things and the big things, to love you when it’s easy and also when it’s hard. I vow to love you when we’re sick and when we’re well, in the shade and the sunshine. I vow to love you for who you are now and who you will become. I vow to be faithful to you, to create a family with you, to build a home with you, and to never give up on you, or on us.

You have every part of me. I choose you now and every day I have.

And the poem we read at the beginning of our vows:

Soneto LXXXI

Already you are mine. Rest with your dream inside my dream.

Love, grief, labour, must sleep now

Night revolves on invisible wheels

and joined to me you are pure as sleeping amber.

No one else will sleep with my dream, love.

You will go we will go joined by the waters of time.

No other one will travel the shadows with me,

only you, eternal nature, eternal sun, eternal moon.

Already your hands have opened their delicate fists

and let fall, without direction, their gentle signs,

your eyes enclosing themselves like two grey wings,

while I follow the waters you bring that take me onwards:

night, Earth, winds weave their fate, and already,

not only am I not without you, I alone am your dream.

Pablo Neruda

Monday, August 02, 2010


How do you write marriage vows? I'm working on this right now and when I have the words in my head and I imagine saying them to Micael, they seem thoughtful, sincere, moving. But when I write them down, recite them, they seem to lose something--they start to feel canned and cliché. I can imagine that in that moment, in front of all those people, those words--whatever they are--are very significant. That the vow you make seems more solid in that moment than now, sitting on my couch on a Monday afternoon. But I can't help the feeling that our vows are made over years together, the little promises we make to one another, the adjustments, the compromises, the gifts and sacrifices that create a bond, a relationship, a marriage. I can say in my vows, I choose you, I vow to be faithful to you, but saying it almost seems to inhibit the power that comes from not needing to say it, because he already knows, because that is who I have always shown him I am. So am I saying these vows for myself, for him, for the people gathered with us? I wrote in my last entry that we believe in this ritual, we believe it has power to shape us and shape our path together. How do I write words that can honor the power of that ritual?

I am already emotionally spent and the week is just beginning. Friends and family arrive today, tomorrow and on throughout the week. I am overjoyed, anxious, exhausted, excited and nervous all at the same time. I miss Micael for all the time we've spent apart, working and getting ready for this. I can't imagine anything better than a quiet walk, just the two of us. But that's not in the cards this week or next. The quiet time together will come, and when it does, we will see more of one another for everything we experienced, struggled, labored for and put forth in this wedding. I know, from having planned this with him for six months, that we can communicate, we can fight and make up, we can create and execute and compromise, and love throughout all of it. I know, from all this, that we are truly partners.