Wednesday, August 01, 2012

After sixteen days away from my family and Missoula, I'm back.  Most of my journey was filled with truck driving.  The last four days, though, were spent in New England celebrating the marriage of two of my closest friends, Nima Samimi and Amanda Graff.  In fact, I had the honor of co-officiating, with Nina Berenfeld, their wedding ceremony!

Below is my brief "sermon" which was written very last-minute.  I didn't even have time to proofread it, but it turned out fine, I think.
Hi everybody!  What a perfect day for an outdoor wedding, right?  I really, really love this place.  I learned earlier today that Khalil Gibran, the fantastic Lebanese-American poet, author, & artist who penned some of the most mystical, beautiful, and overused wedding poetry in the canon of world literature, spent a couple months here on this land and in that building, recovering from an illness.  He may have even penned parts of his most famous work--The Prophet--right here on this very lawn. 
Photo credit: Hanon Rosenthal
I won't be reciting any of Gibran's poetry today, but it does seem fitting somehow, the connection.  Nima and Amanda are, after all, prophets of love and pioneers of affection.  They love you.  They really do.  You are all so very important to them.  Do you know this?  They've told me and shown me 1,000 times in their impeccable and generous ways how much they adore me, and it still hasn't fully sunk in.  It's hard to LET it in.  I'm not used to it.  I never know what to say.  I've met few people like them who emanate the kind of love and affection, dignity and humanity, that they do.  They are open-hearted.  They are open-minded.  They are curious.  They are adventurous.  They are smart.  They have retained their passion for life, and they mean what they say.  
So when you hear them exchange their vows today, and when you hear them appreciate you all for coming here and for being part of this ceremony and for supporting them over the years in your untold, vivid, and generous ways, believe them.  They couldn't have done this without you.  And they wouldn't have wanted to do it without you.  You have made their lives infinitely richer.  And believe me when I say that they want YOU to stay close to them, forever, in a way that is not unlike a marriage.  Today let this ceremony be bigger than the miracle of two fabulous, earth-shaking human beings uniting.  Let it also be about all of us being bound together in a similar spirit. 
Nima and Amanda, now is your opportunity to come up here and stand together in front of your friends and family and just tell each other what's in your heart.
The wedding was magical, and Amanda and Nima shone like the stars they are.  Tomorrow they fly to France for the honeymoon.  Bon voyage, lovebirds!


jsl said...

wow! how beautiful and inspiring!!! the underlying message you shared is similar to the only thing i remember from my wedding ceremony to john - the priest said something like - may your love and marriage inspire others and make the world a better place. i have found marriage to be wonderful but also at times very difficult. sounds like these two are a match made in heaven. thanks for sharing this wonderful story.

Chris Sand said...

Aww, thanks Jessica! Hope to visit y'all this winter.