My uncle Hamish officiated our ceremony. (My mom had managed to get him ordained over email!) In his thick English accent, Hamish kicked off the ceremony by saying, "It seems a bit rich, with a voice like this, to welcome you all to New York!" His service was beautiful--both funny and moving.We had spent all summer choosing our readings (it was surprisingly tough!), and in the end, we found four poems we absolutely loved. First, our friend Kenan read “Our Union” by Hafiz. This poem breaks my heart, and Kenan read it achingly beautifully and slowly:
Our union is like this: You feel cold, so I reach for a blanket to cover our shivering feet.
A hunger comes into your body, so I run to my garden and start digging potatoes.
You asked for a few words of comfort and guidance, and I quickly kneel by your side offering you a whole book as a gift.
You ache with loneliness one night so much you weep, and I say here is a rope, tie it around me, I will be your companion for life.
Then, our good friend Penny read two poems:
From "First Poems," Rainer Maria Rilke
Understand, I'll slip quietly
Away from the noisy crowd
When I see the pale
Stars rising, blooming over the oaks
I'll pursue solitary pathways
Through the pale twilit meadows,
With only this one dream:
You come too.
The Dream Keeper, by Langston Hughes
Bring me all of your dreams,
Bring me all your
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.
Finally, for a bit of comic relief, our friend Nora read “I'll Be There For You” by Louise Cuddon:
I'll be there, my darling, through thick and through thin
When your mind's in a mess and your head's in a spin
When your plane's been delayed, and you've missed the last train.
When life is just threatening to drive you insane
When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page
When somebody tells you, you're looking your age
When your coffee's too cool, and your wine is too warm
When the forecast said, “Fine,” but you're out in a storm
When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum
And your holiday photos show only your thumb
When you park for five minutes in a resident's bay
And return to discover you've been towed away
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste
Just stick on your hips and don't reach round your waist
When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes
When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear...
When you break a rule, when you act the fool
When you've got the flu, when you're in a stew
When you're last in the queue, don't feel blue
'cause I'm telling you, I'll be there.
(Photos by Max Wanger)