Love in the Ruins
I’ve been off the grid for most of the last week, performing a mission of mercy and hanging out near the muddy, majestic Suwannee River:
Mr. Cracker, who is no cracker at all and is in fact from New York State, claims that the Suwannee is one of a handful of Florida rivers that is worthy of being called a river. With the same tone in which many New Yorkers claim you can’t get a decent pizza outside the Empire State, the mister relegates most of our Florida rivers to “crick” status. But even he has to admit the Suwannee is somewhat impressive.
On its banks, it’s easy to lose track of civilization as we know it. I came home to find that Sarah Palin is currently pretending to be a biker chick and Andrew Breitbart has engineered a wingnut media inquiry into a phony scandal involving Representative Wiener’s wiener.
As compelling as these topics are, this morning, I’m indulging in rank sentimentality, remembering instead a morning about a decade and a half ago when I woke up worried about the weather because I had been foolish enough to plan an outdoor wedding during the beginning of the rainy season.
My luck held that day. There were a few hitches in the ceremony. My bridesmaids came under attack by fire ants, but they were a stalwart trio who refused to break ranks until the vows were said, at which point they kicked off their shoes and hopped around scratching their feet furiously, a moment that was fortunately captured on film.
My nervousness about the whole thing was subtly captured on film: in every photo, the flowers in my bouquet are blurry because I was shaking so badly. Then there is the photo of the mister and I returning from the chow line to our table, he eying my plate to determine what morsels he would sample from the items I had chosen that he hadn’t taken for himself, a pattern that continues to this very day.
There isn’t a photo of the town drunk (I didn’t invite her!) confiscating the band’s microphone and delivering a Scotch-fumed version of “The Rose.” There is a picture of my then-teenage brother unlawfully smoking a big fat cigar and illegally drinking a Cuba Libre cocktail.
So what’s the point? I don’t think there really is a point, not to this post, and not to life. I believe we live in a pitiless, pointless universe in which pain and loss and death are the predominate features for us struggling life forms.
But there can be love and laughter along the way, and sometimes it continues for far longer than we think we deserve. If our luck holds.
Categories: Messylaneous •