Readings from a Bear of a Wedding

I still am reeling from a wedding ceremony that we pulled together in less than three weeks and showed how amazing our friends and family are to travel on such short notice. And not to mention packing for Ethiopia. However, I wanted to share the readings and vows before they fade.

Cara chose a poem by “punk poet” John Cooper Clarke, which was read by her sister, Meg and turned out to also be a song by the Arctic Monkeys, titled “I Wanna Be Yours”:

I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
Breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
Let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours

I wanna be your raincoat
For those frequent rainy days
I wanna be your dreamboat
When you want to sail away
Let me be your teddy bear
Take me with you anywhere
I don’t care
I wanna be yours

I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out
I wanna be the electric heater
You’ll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
Hold your hair in deep devotion
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
That’s how deep is my devotion

I made my best friend (and avid poetry hater), Brad, read what in retrospect was a very difficult poem by Frank o’Hara titled, “Having a Coke with You” (a few location-related liberties taken):

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm D.C. 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles
and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Phillips Collection
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

When Pete told me the tidbit about the Arctic Monkeys, I thought the juxtaposition was so perfect that I didn’t spend my usual week of indecisive vaccillation between options. Finally, the vows were something borrowed, which Cara found who knows where:

I TAKE YOU AS YOU ARE, loving who you are now and who you are yet to become. I promise to listen to you and learn from you, to support you and accept your support. I will celebrate your triumphs and mourn your losses as though they were my own. I will love you and have faith in your love for me, through all our years and all that life may bring us.

These actually caused a minor row because I didn’t want to change them at all at first (which she worried meant I wasn’t taking it seriously) and then I tried to add in a clause at the end about always being faithful (which admittedly is a little redundant but I have a thing about loyalty, which is that I take it very seriously, and would be happy adding it to everything, like butter). That’s it for now, but more to come.