On Love

Anne Herbert, in an essay titled “Handy Tips on How to Behave at the Death of the World” writes, “Falling in love has always been a bit too much to apply to one person.  Falling in love is appropriate for now, to love all these things which are about to leave. The rocks are watching, … Continue reading On Love

On Family

I really wanted to wear a green dress for my wedding.  I found one in the sundress section of a catalogue shortly after we set a date, and I was determined to be different. It was from a catalogue because I don’t care for shopping in any form, and wearing green seemed like something that would be a fun way make a statement.  To be contrarian.  To be different from America’s typical run of the mill wedding detail.  To damn the wedding culture man, as it were.  A way to make sure people understood I was doing it my way.  Etcetera.  

The green dress was a no-go.  My mom and I visited a few wedding dress shops, and I ended up getting a white one instead, still simple, still from a catalogue.  But it was white, and from the “wedding dress” section.  

I also wanted Nick and I to say our vows in a field down by the Big Sioux River.  I love nature, the prairie, feeling the wind on my face, looking at the sky.  I wanted to step into marriage on my own terms, and at the time, one of the ideas that made me feel like things were on my terms was having the wedding in a field of prairie grass down by the river. We didn’t do that either, and thinking back I’m not sure I ever actually suggested this idea out loud. The ceremony was held in the church I grew up attending, with my future father in law presiding. So, at the end of the day, I wore the white dress and had the church wedding.  And I’m glad I did, because my wedding wasn’t just about what I, the bride, wanted at that point in my young adulthood.  It was about grafting a new branch onto the family tree.  It was about public commitment to a new way of being in partnership with another human. And it was a commitment to a new way of being in relationship with a new group of people – an extended family. Continue reading “On Family”

Between Beauty and Destruction

I’m sitting outside on the back deck, surrounded by towering basswood trees that have just fully come into their summer leafy glory.  Birds are chirping, and I can hear frogs croaking down in the shallows of the lake, and squirrels chattering at each other as they race from tree to tree.  Filtered sunlight is streaming down, there’s a gentle breeze keeping any bugs away, the purple flowers of the hillside Sweet William are in full bloom, and all of this combined creates a little oasis of beauty and tranquility.  I can also hear the growl of heavy machinery as crews prepare to pave another section of the road and every so often there’s a loud crash as a tree comes down, followed by the buzzing of a chainsaw and the beeping of a large loader backing up.  I hear a diesel truck roar by and the dust from the road rises like a massive cloud as it races by the house.  There is beauty and there is destruction.  This contrast exists everywhere.   Continue reading “Between Beauty and Destruction”