I don’t remember most days, not even wedding days; I do remember your wedding day, and I imagine I will continue to remember it for the foreseeable future.
Since this is a wedding note, and since we live in a time of grand narratives where everything neatly ties together with whatever you happen to care deeply about, I’ll try to show how your wedding confirmed the narrative I already knew to be true about xxxxxxxxx. See, I have a special fondness for xxxxxxxxx. There’s something about being around him that’s energizing. Truly. I believe he’s excited to see me, to spend time with me, and to further learn the ridiculousness of my character. This may seem like a basic definition of friendship, but it’s not. Other “friends” will genuinely look forward to an encounter only to be silently longing for the plane back home shortly after commencement. I know this because I do it. It never feels like xxxxxxxxx does. Another way to say all of this is to say that xxxxxxxxx helps me live in the moment. And while I can’t, due to lack of experience, honestly say xxxxxxxxx has the same effect on me, I also have enough experience with her to know that I can’t dismiss the possibility. Or at the very least, I think xxxxxxxxx can augment and support xxxxxxxxx’s unique strengths, and he (better) augment and support her strengths (like drawing/painting; keep drawing/painting).
For now, though, our focus shall be on our overarching narrative that forms the backbone of this letter. So just as it’s no surprise that Trump obviously did the awful thing that perfectly fits the narrative you hold about him, it’s no surprise that your wedding was a beautiful exercise in presence.
I remember being a bit stunned when the lights harshly cut the darkness to indicate 02:00’s arrival. No phone or watch checks had prepared me for such a startling event because no such checks had occurred. Most moments are boring, rendering living in the moment not all that enticing, so you default to looking forward. And since there is always something to check – the scores, your texts, the time, the weather – there’s always an easy way to look forward. This path never disappears since there’s forever a chance that something – the scores, your texts, the time, the weather – has changed. Though at some point, if you are to have a fulfilling life, you must stop looking forward and realize that this is your life. Not Friday when you are at that concert. Not Tuesday after a good night of sleep. Not Thursday after that second coffee. Not after you learn the 10-day forecast. Now. I often fail at living this truth, but not on your wedding day.
The most pernicious form of complacency is the one where you use explanations about what you will do in the future to silence anxiety about not being better today. You get off by merely imagining yourself to be someone you never have to become. So the status quo persists, and everything is quickly forgotten because there are no markers of substantive change to differentiate one day from another. Whole years blur by. At least when you were young the government gave you markers – driver’s permit, driver’s license, cigarettes, alcohol, rental cars – to break up the blur. Now, aside from round-number birthdays, it’s on you.
“I want to make something absolutely clear. If you thought there was some working group coming to the rescue, I want you to know that you’re wrong. This is it. There’s nobody else hidden away on some other floor. There is just us. And we are failing.”
- Zero Dark Thirty
Like xxxxxxxxx, your wedding showed me how to not fail. Be interested in other people – no new friends is a stupidly flawed concept. Take pride in knowing people with a diversity of experiences. Get excited seeing people interact. Want others to be well and free from suffering. Be there for them when they aren’t. You can’t be anywhere for anyone if you aren’t present, because they’ll notice. You’ll notice too when the blur strikes.
The fact that I still vividly remember your wedding day tells me that I did something right. Not just me, though, since the keys to success, it should be noted, all involve other people.
Thanks for including me and happy one-year anniversary.