Fourteen years

wedding

Tomorrow we will have been married 14 years.  This picture, taken on the dock in front of our wedding reception after the thunderstorm had cleared, feels like both moments and a lifetime ago.

When Matt and I got married, a hundred years ago, I didn’t overly obsess about most of the wedding details (as you can see, I wore a ponytail and my dress was a sundress, notable only for the fact that it had a scalloped hem).  The only things I really cared about were the songs and the readings.  I cared a lot – agonized, even – about choosing readings for the service and also about our first dance song.  Our readings were two: Cavafy’s Ithaka, and an excerpt from The Book of Qualities.  Our first dance was to Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney and the last song we danced to before we left, on a small boat into the dark harbor, was Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic.

I thought of this yesterday when I was driving and Maybe I’m Amazed came on the radio.  This doesn’t happen much – the song that Paul McCartney wrote for his wife Linda, while lovely, isn’t exactly on constant repeat on Kiss 108.  I chose it, as is often the case when it comes to my musical attachments, for the lyrics.  But really, when I read the lyrics now, I think I chose it for the title.

Maybe I’m amazed.

I couldn’t help thinking, as I drove, the setting sun chasing me home along the Mass Pike, that some part of the 25 year old me knew this would be, in many ways, the anthem of my life.  It’s definitely no understatement to say that I have been startled, and continue to be, by how much flat-out amazement my experience contains.  This life amazes me every single day, with its surprising beauty, with its stunning pain, with its lingering grief, with its enduring sturdiness.  Of course I was thinking of my marriage, and my soon-to-be-husband when I chose Paul McCartney’s somewhat random song, but I think I also knew I was thinking of my life.

Of course Into the Mystic hits the same note, too.  That’s what this life, is after all, isn’t it?  A journey into the mystic, into a dark harbor, into a world lit by sputtering sparklers who consume themselves as they burn brightly, by fireworks whose flare leaves an imprint in the sky even after it fades.  I am so often hard on my younger self, focus so resolutely on all the poor choices I made and things I did not do well enough.  It is a welcome change to recognize that even in that young, impressionable bride there was a flicker of the future, an awareness of the themes that would come to define both my marriage and, most of all, my life.

– See more at: http://www.adesignsovast.com/2012/03/maybe-im-amazed-into-the-mystic-and-the-future-glinting-in-the-present/#sthash.yTf75xKe.dpuf

When Matt and I got married, a hundred years ago, I didn’t overly obsess about most of the wedding details (as you can see, I wore a ponytail and my dress was a sundress, notable only for the fact that it had a scalloped hem).  The only things I really cared about were the songs and the readings.  I cared a lot – agonized, even – about choosing readings for the service and also about our first dance song.  Our readings were two: Cavafy’s Ithaka, and an excerpt from The Book of Qualities.  Our first dance was to Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney and the last song we danced to before we left, on a small boat into the dark harbor, was Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic.

I thought of this yesterday when I was driving and Maybe I’m Amazed came on the radio.  This doesn’t happen much – the song that Paul McCartney wrote for his wife Linda, while lovely, isn’t exactly on constant repeat on Kiss 108.  I chose it, as is often the case when it comes to my musical attachments, for the lyrics.  But really, when I read the lyrics now, I think I chose it for the title.

Maybe I’m amazed.

I couldn’t help thinking, as I drove, the setting sun chasing me home along the Mass Pike, that some part of the 25 year old me knew this would be, in many ways, the anthem of my life.  It’s definitely no understatement to say that I have been startled, and continue to be, by how much flat-out amazement my experience contains.  This life amazes me every single day, with its surprising beauty, with its stunning pain, with its lingering grief, with its enduring sturdiness.  Of course I was thinking of my marriage, and my soon-to-be-husband when I chose Paul McCartney’s somewhat random song, but I think I also knew I was thinking of my life.

Of course Into the Mystic hits the same note, too.  That’s what this life, is after all, isn’t it?  A journey into the mystic, into a dark harbor, into a world lit by sputtering sparklers who consume themselves as they burn brightly, by fireworks whose flare leaves an imprint in the sky even after it fades.  I am so often hard on my younger self, focus so resolutely on all the poor choices I made and things I did not do well enough.  It is a welcome change to recognize that even in that young, impressionable bride there was a flicker of the future, an awareness of the themes that would come to define both my marriage and, most of all, my life.

– See more at: http://www.adesignsovast.com/2012/03/maybe-im-amazed-into-the-mystic-and-the-future-glinting-in-the-present/#sthash.yTf75xKe.dpuf

I wasn’t particularly focused on a lot of the wedding details (as you can see, I wore a ponytail and my dress was a sundress, notable only because I designed it myself).  I am grateful that I got married before social media, particularly before Pinterest, which seems to teem with small details to obsess over while planning your wedding.  I wanted blue and yellow flowers.  The minister who married us came from Rhode Island, where he had been close to my grandmother, who had recently died.  We had a buffet of slightly random foods chosen because we love them. I sewed blue ribbons into the hem of my dress on which my bridesmaids and close friends wrote messages.  We had a guest book on a small table on which also stood pictures of both of our parents on their wedding days.  We figured out midway through the reception that all seven of my mother’s bridesmaids were there: how remarkable is that?  If you wonder where I get my commitment to long-standing female friendship, there’s a clue.

I was guided, as I so often am, by my own sentimentality.

One thing I cared a lot  about was choosing readings for the service and also the song for our first dance. We had two readings: Cavafy’s Ithaka, and an excerpt from The Book of Qualities.  Our first dance was to Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney and the last song we danced to before we left, on a small boat into the dark harbor, was Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic.

I chose it Maybe I’m Amazed, as is often the case when it comes to my musical attachments, for the lyrics.  But really, most of all, I think I chose it for the title.

Maybe I’m amazed.

I can’t help thinking that some part of the 25 year old me knew this would be, in many ways, the anthem of my life.  It’s definitely no understatement to say that I have been startled, and continue to be, by how much flat-out amazement my experience on this earth contains.  This life amazes me every single day, with its surprising beauty, with its stunning pain, with its lingering grief, with its enduring sturdiness.  Of course I was thinking of my marriage, and my soon-to-be-husband when I chose Paul McCartney’s song, but I think I also knew I was thinking of my life.

Into the Mystic hits the same note, too.  That’s what this life, is after all, isn’t it?  A journey into the mystic, into a dark harbor, into a world lit by sputtering sparklers who consume themselves as they burn brightly, by fireworks whose flare leaves an imprint in the sky even after it fades.  I am so often hard on my younger self, focus so resolutely on all the poor choices I made and things I did not do well enough.  It is a welcome change to recognize that even in that young, impressionable bride there was a flicker of the future, an awareness of the themes that would come to define both my marriage and, most of all, my life.

So, Matt, as we celebrate 14 years, thank you for walking beside me on this adventure into the mystic.  I admit, I honor, and I declare: I am still amazed.

For the last few years, I have written one of my biannual posts about Matt on this day.  The others are here: 2013, 2012, 2011.

Parts of this post were originally written in early 2012.


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18 Comments

  1. Posted September 8, 2014 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what I love more about this- your dress and pony tail, the gorgeous back ground, the fact that all of your mother’s bridesmaids were there! or the themes. A wonderful piece. Happy Day!

  2. Posted September 8, 2014 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Happy Anniversary to you both!

  3. Posted September 8, 2014 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Happy Anniversary! So so beautiful. I, too, am sentimental and we chose all of our songs so carefully, thinking about lyrics and music. And yes, so amazing.

  4. Posted September 8, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I am often unnecessarily hard on my younger self as well. It’s important to invest the time in thinking about those threads that have always been woven into our core, even when we didn’t yet have the introspection to recognize them as central themes to our lives. This is one of the beauties of growing older, I think. The dawning awareness and appreciation of all the ways in which we can see the rivers and paths that have etched themselves into our journey. Happy anniversary. Such a beautiful tribute, as always.
    xLara

  5. Posted September 8, 2014 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    As a music lyric person myself, I loved this post so much. Your wedding sounded like one I would want to attend–just so much love & thought captured in the simple details. Happy Anniversary!

  6. Posted September 8, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    We celebrate our 14th anniversary in a few days! Kind of funny how close together we are. I love the picture of you two (and the words). I think the songs you picked are awesome and very fitting.

  7. Posted September 8, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    The first thing I noticed was the scalloped hem! Love it and your ponytail. It’s a beautiful song, and I love the idea of your younger self intuiting what would be a great theme in your life. Happy anniversary!

  8. Nadine
    Posted September 8, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Happy Anniversary! I love the dress, and the yellow and blue flowers! (I had yellow roses and corn flowers, and knew I would 15 years earlier).
    It’s not that surprising you chose these themes even back then – you were and are the same person!
    You and your husband have a wonderful day!

  9. Posted September 8, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Happy Anniversary! I love how your wedding song foreshadowed the theme of your marriage. Lovely sentiments and picture.

  10. Posted September 8, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Sounds like a beautiful day and that you had all the important details right – everything about connection and nothing just for show. Which Is what I’d expect. And it seems like that peaky little detail of choosing who to spend your life with was exceptionally well made.

    Happy Anniversary to you both – and may you continue to celebrate each other and the wonderful family you have made together every day. xox

  11. Posted September 8, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    This is so beautiful! The photo the wedding and the words!

  12. Posted September 8, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I love everything about this post! The picture of you two is filled with emotion and simply beautiful.

    I look back at my own wedding and regret not making it more about us as a couple. I let too much be dictated by wedding tradition and not by emotion.

    Bravo to you that you let your heart rule the day. It sounds like you nailed it, sister.

  13. Posted September 8, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Love this so so much, Lindsey. So much. xoxo

  14. Amy
    Posted September 9, 2014 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Happy anniversary Lindsey! Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your special day and your beautiful marriage. xxx

  15. Posted September 9, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Happy Anniversary! The simplicity of your dress is just stunning. xo

  16. Posted September 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Amazed is a good place to be. I LOVED reading this! Congrats on 14 years. That’s nothing to scoff at! And hey, I wasn’t the only child bride!

  17. Posted September 9, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    And meant to say– gorgeous picture!!

  18. Posted September 10, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Happy (belated) anniversary! My husband and I celebrated #7 this week, and I reflected on both that wedding day and the totality of the life we’ve built, too — because it’s about more than just that day, or even just the marriage.

    I love this line: “This life amazes me every single day, with its surprising beauty, with its stunning pain, with its lingering grief, with its enduring sturdiness.” So true, and beautiful. Congratulations on 14 years!