Note: (yes, another note.) I wrote this right when I got back...BEFORE the "brace yourselves" post...but for some reason I didn't want to publish it then. It isn't as all-encompassing of my emotion as "brace yourselves." I'm publishing it now, so here you go.
Well, marriage has finally infiltrated my group of high school friends. My buddy Nate got married this weekend. His wedding (in which I was one of the crucial "ushers") took place in Bozeman, MT, on Saturday, July 17. Its Monday, July 19, and I'm in Portland...and I still don't really have any idea what exactly happened this weekend.
No, it is not because of intoxication...Although, intoxication and this weekend did have a rather intimate relationship.
So, as time goes along, and I continue to process the fact that Nate is a married man, perhaps I'll add a post now and then regarding my conclusions, or lack thereof. Right now, I'm going to write about something that I've been thinking about for a while but seemed to come to a rather pointy head as I observed and took part in the events of Nate's wedding.
I don't know how many times I've been told to appreciate each and every moment. I thought I understood the rationale well enough. Appreciate this moment, because before you know it you will be in the midst of another, altogether different moment, and all you'll have of the previous moment are your memories. And if you consciously appreciate the moment, your memories will be more vivid. Yeah, that makes sense...but there HAS to be something else to it.
Story time: The wedding took place outdoors, at around 6 in the evening, and the scorching sun was still very present. I bet was 85 degrees during the ceremony. The ceremony took place on a grassy lawn, near a creek, with the Bridger Mnts, very picturesqe. Perfect, one might say. I finished my duties as all important usher, I took a seat. Before I knew it, I was looking back at Katie (Nate's new wife), all 5'1'' of her, as she was walking down the aisle. Katie and I have always had an interesting relationship. I mean, we get along...but sometimes I'm just too fucking skeptical. Sometimes I think I have people figured out more than I really do. I really didn't know what to think about this wedding, from my perspective they (Nate, 22, and Katie, 20) looked way to young. But Nate has been on cloud nine for the whole ride--the dating, the serious dating, and the one and a half year engagement--so I never spoke up. I could see that somehow he knew what he was doing, even though Katie's obvious immaturity at times would annoy the living shit out of me, and cause me to fear for the future of the couple. Anyway, so I was looking back at Katie, walking toward her parents (both of whom were completely overwhelmed with tears), and she looked so perfect. She looked so real. She was holding back the tears...trying to smile, and I was in love with the moment. It was a perfect moment. I leaned back in my seat as she finally made it to the altar, and all the tension in my body...all the anticipation and concern for Nate, and concern for Katie, and the conviction that they shouldn't be doing this...it all disappeared. I saw the look on Katie's face...and then on Nate's face...and I was overwhelmed with the love they felt for each other. The ceremony lasted only 15 or 20 minutes...which was quite enough for me because it had been over for me before it had actually began.
I realize now what I had been so afraid of. I was afraid that Katie didn't know what she was doing. Like I said, I was confident in Nate's state of mind following his decison to so quickly enter the world of adulthood. But I hadn't seen it in Katie. I was afraid she wasn't going to make the realization that she was in a perfect moment. I was afraid she wasn't going to realize that she was in an immortal moment. History is unfolding at weddings. This was perhaps the biggest moment that both Nate and Katie will EVER experience. But time didn't stop so as to allow them to let it sink in. Time just kept going like it was any other normal day. Most people only stand at an altar and hear "you may now kiss the bride," once in their lives. ONCE. It happens and then it is over. Never again. And thats how it is for all of the greatest moments in life...perfect, but fleeting, and then gone. There are memories, yes, but that moment will never be again. But if you can recognize the perfection of the moment...while still IN the moment...you can keep it. I was afraid Katie wasn't going to recognize perfection. She proved me wrong. I saw it in her face, I heard it in her voice when she made a toast, and in how she couldn't stop smiling the whole night.
After the ceremony, and the food, and the wine, I proceeded to have what will be one of the greatest nights of my life. So much love. So much appreciation. So much perfection. The only time I got quasi-emotional (although its happened a few times since yesterday morning) at the wedding was immediately after I danced with Mrs. Nate. While I was dancing, I wanted to test her....I guess...gauge her state of mind. "This night has been so crazy," I said. "But fun!" she replied with the brightest Katie smile I have ever seen.
I went back to the corner fo the room and put my head in my hands for a few minutes...cried a few tears. I don't really know exactly why. I know I was really happy, though. I don't think there are English words that can describe the species of happiness, however. I'm just going to leave it at that.
One moment I was driving to Bozeman, and Nate was a bachelor....the next I was driving to Portland, and Katie's last name had changed....likely FOREVER.....and now I'm sitting here, sharing with you. So it goes.