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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 57: So This Is Love

Got breakfast at a real hometown kind of diner place in Biddeford. Taking my Japanese father, who has somehow managed to remove himself from the last thirty years of world development and become thoroughly Americanized at the same time while maintaining a firm denial of both, was every bit as entertaining as you might think. I love him, but his reality is unreal. Yet, the walls of his world are constructed admirably thick, the product of many years of hard work and contemplation. Still, they are walls and therefore not for me. We do our best to see eye to eye, but frequently end up conceding to pass like ships in the night. This trip is the most time we've spent together in years, despite regularly living under the same roof.

Around noon we headed to the house at the pool for the wedding. I expected to find things a flurry of preparation, but instead folks were browsing a sandwich buffet the aunts had assembled, and leisurely sunning themselves on the beach and lawn. Slowly elements began to come together. Between drinks and snacks, small tasks were delegated and everyone came together to make some good times and a wedding happen. I and some cousins were sent out to gather wildflowers, which were used to decorate the cake. An impromptu jam session broke out on the porch and filled all the open spaces with jazz. The bar, a table with a blender and plastic coolers in the garage, was fully stocked and staffed with capable volunteers from the groom's family. Here and there people would disappear in bathing suits, and reappear decked out in vibrant summer clothes, but always comfortable and casual. Everything glowed with relaxing good times. A vacation wedding of nearest and dearest.

The ceremony was the definition of short and sweet. Little more than two true lovers and friends declaring their lasting devotion and intentions in front of the people who care and understand the most. It was beautifully touching to see a ceremony that has become so overblown with tradition and consumption distilled back to the real value of its basic essence. Within twenty minutes we were back to sharing food, stories, drinks, and laughs. Because it is a celebration after all, and that's important too. Love more! Be merry! It's all really quite simple.

The evening began to wind down with another beach bonfire, and this time I had the foresight to bring supplies for s'mores. Unfortunately, the festivities came to a crashing halt for me when the central pillar of fire came crashing down right as I was passing for wood, and landed on my head. No worries, though. I'm a little bumped and singed, but perfectly fine.
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