Monday, August 20, 2012

The Play by Play

For those who are interested, here is the play by play of our big moment. (Big thanks to Cindy and Kevin for the pictures here which they already posted on facebook - we have yet to download the hundreds from the camera that Matt's dad used as the official photographer so there will be more later)

Location - we were at Matt's grandparents' cottage on Lake Huron

Here is a view of the lake:

Here is a view of the cottage and people getting ready:

Here we are getting ready to walk with our "bubble kids," my niece and nephew Emma and Caleb - they were awesome:

People played "Here Comes the Bride" on Kazoos while we walked in - here they are warming up:

We were pretty excited walking in (and as we walked in a bald eagle flew by!!!):
A note on my dress - from the empire waist up is the original of my grandmother's wedding dress, the rest uses material from her her dress (it had long sleeves and lots of train, all of which I preferred not to have in August)  The little blue ribbons are from my mother's wedding dress.

My college roommate and dear friend Mary Lawrence read a poem:

Here is the poem, it is by Elizabeth Bradfield and it is AMAZING

epithalamion (wedding song)
and now, after the night that follows this day of promise and abandon you will wake to a life that is no different and yet is called something else and so, in the way names carry history and song, you wake to each other differently.
may you wake each day glad of each other.
may you keep for each other the small and daily preferences: coffee, soap brand, sock style and music specific to the hour. May they be considered and attended.
consider the luck of having another's joys and sorrows woven through yours, melody made harmony.
and how harmony thrills as it resolves from dissonance.
there will be dissonance. the unpoetic daily and the vast tragic. and there will be time for rough burr to become texture, knots in raw silk. 
Now, there are knottings of the face, tics of expression - a word, the way a cup is held, a hitch in sleeps regular breath - these are waypoints in your maps. 
Remember the star-maps have held their constellations for years beyond counting and no one ever finds such unchangingness dull or grating.
we use familiar points and stories to figure where we are, to find our way home through distances that cannot be known before they are traveled.

Then Matt's sister Erin read some scripture:

Linda (the lady with the beautiful stole on) gave a wonderful homily about how gardening and marriage are similar.  Well, it was much more than that, but you will have to ask her for the details - it was beautiful!!!

After vows, Matt and I read commitments that we had made to each other - I started my commitments last summer before we even talked about getting married and added to them throughout the year - Matt let them stew in his mind and sat down to write them about 2 hours before our ceremony began - we did not see each others commitments at all prior to the service.

E's commitments to M:

As we move forward in our life together I will do my best

…to communicate openly with you, with love, compassion, humor and courage. 

 to walk slowly through life with you, taking time to watch a spider make a web and to joyfully explore the world together,

to continue to play with you, be silly, be loving and not take ourselves too seriously,

to appreciate all that you do for me, the ways in which you are there for me and your very existence in my life,

to not let my career or what I do in the world overtake our love for each other, recognizing that I will be better in the world because of our love and mutual support of each other,

to make music with you,

to stick by you even on days when you drive me crazy,

to hold your hand,

to support you and take care of you and to allow you to support me and take care of me

to continue our mutual commitment to making the world a better place,

to strive for that with you, to challenge you and to allow myself to be challenged by you,

to dance with you, spontaneously. 

To love and cherish you, with tenderness, strength and courage.

M's commitments to E:
 Elizabeth, we have known each other for a year and a half.  In that short time together we have gone on walks, runs, and bike rides.  We have planted gardens, watched them grow and watched them die in a variety of ways too lengthy and horrible to list here.  We have lost family and gained family.  We have written and avoided writing academic works of profound insight, depth, and abundance of typos. As we move forward in our life together I offer you these commitments:

I will give you my open ears and open mind.
I will be there for you in the hard times with a great big hug and a pocket of tissues.
I will be there for you in the good times with a great big hug and a pocket of tissues. 
I will share with you my thoughts, perspectives and emotions.
I will be your number 1 fan and cheerleader or at least a co-#1 fan with Mama K.
I will value your strengths and help you build new ones.
I will share my strengths and lean on you when they are not enough. 
I will make beautiful music, or awful noises with you depending on the context and the listeners perspective. 
I will learn from you and learn with you.
I will walk with you and hold your hand.
I will help carry your load and let you help carry mine.
I will work with you to build a life, a garden, and a better world, together. 

Then we exchanged rings, were announced, blessed and sent out to the sound of kazoos playing Simple Gifts.  
We were pretty happy:

We were thrilled to be joined by so many people who are so very dear and important in our lives including all four of Matt's grandparents!

And my grandparents were all present in my heart!

If anyone is interested in celebrating our love with a gift we are asking folks to donate to one of three different organizations:

Educational Praxis which supports a school in India where I spent some time a few summers ago:

Haiti Outreach Mission - a program that Matt's church participates in and supports:

Hospice of Lenawe - the organization my Dad works for that does amazing work in Lenawee County:

Thank you for taking the time to see the play by play!  I am still glowing and am so grateful to those both near and far who made this past weekend, and mine and Matt's love possible!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Old Wisdom

I have been trying to clean my books out of my parents house and the last box was full of old journals, starting from when I was maybe in the 2nd grade (lots of great reading there, let me tell you)  Anyway, today I stumbled upon some rough poems from 2005.  I had been living in a house with three wonderful men for several months at that point, and while they are all wonderful, it was still lonely being the only woman and my feminist self needed to do a lot of talking that year - so here are some of the results...

It's not a shell

It's not a shell I am coming out of
I am not a snail or a clam
Nor am I merely blossoming
I am more than pretty petals
And don't say that I am finding myself
I have been here all along

Don't say I am overreacting
Just because the smile has left my face

Let's just say the clouds are clearing
And the light that shines is revealing new truth

You may not want me to see or even know that truth
You may wish I would just forget about it
Or maybe you don't understand it
Your clouds have not yet cleared
You may even choose to keep them there

But don't you dare think that I will ever let my truth be obscured again
That I can ever go back to the "pre-knowing" days.

Pickle Jars 
(Also titled "Bag 1" since it was written while I was pulling weeds from our landscaping while all the boys were inside and this one only got me through the first bag of weeds I pulled)

Women have been opening pickle jars for years
With the wisdom and strength of our hands
We have loosened the lid just enough
          Ironing shirts, cooking dinners, lugging laundry, scrubbing floors, raising children...
and smiling when our men come home

We hand the pickle jar over with an apologetic needful look
building their strength as we deny our own
They smile and understanding
and with little apparent effort
finish opening the jar
           They bring home the paycheck - get the promotion
We take the open pickle jar
with much gratitude and appreciation
and return to the kitchen
leaving our man in the recliner, in front of the tv.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Some Changes...

So it has been almost two years since my last post-bee-sting post.  And there have been a lot of changes in my life that will probably steer this blog in some new directions.  This post will consist largely of updates, some changes in thinking perhaps.  First a few things that haven't changed - as I sit here typing I have my mate by my side and have been drinking it all morning, I am wearing a beloved wrap around skirt from a dear friend and a tank top, still my favorite outfit, I am still working in education, though in a different capacity and I still love the world and all that is in it although that love brings with it critiques and hopes for something better.  So changes...

I just finished my second year as a phd student in curriculum instruction and teacher education.  I now teach college seniors instead of middle school students, I am getting married (though I still believe in my love rant), I am living in Michigan and have started gardening.

So yeah, things are different.  On the getting married piece, there has been so much I have learned about love and partnership and about myself in this process.  Matt, my betrothed (such a strange word) is a scientist, a "radical moderate"(to be explained later), a quiet sort of guy - not at all the type I ever saw myself with, not that I thought I would ever be with anyone on a permanent basis.  In the past several months I have wondered if I am giving up on my politics by being with someone whose politics vary so greatly from mine, I have realized that what I thought I wanted probably would never have worked, and I have discovered that how one lives life is perhaps more important than how one talks about it.  I have known many men who proclaim themselves feminists and yet still struggle to act in feminist ways.  Though Matt may never wave the feminist banner himself, I have never known a man more capable of supporting me and allowing for my strength and independence, one who is willing to have a less than conventional partnership in terms of division of labor, or who can love in such powerful ways.  Our differences in seeing the world provide for endless though frequently frustrating conversation, and explaining my beliefs and thinking to someone as ardently moderate as Matt has helped me to clarify and strengthen them. We have both learned a lot about listening, even when we disagree and about continuing to discuss these issues even when it makes us angry and frustrated.

In other changes, my thoughts on education have been expanded and muddied and clarified and muddied some more - the complexities involved in the basic questions of what knowledge is, who and how it is defined, who benefits and who does not in these definitions seem to cause a paralysis at times in the world of teacher education research and yet they are the questions that are most important and I am most passionate about.  Because the thinking of a grad student is largely centered around course work in the first years I have explored many areas including Teacher Learning, Critical Race Theory, Context and Micro-politics of Teacher Education, History of Education, Reform, Curriculum and many many more.  The same questions keep surfacing about knowledge, what learning and teaching.

So as I move forward, expect updates on gardening, partnership and some of the more troubling questions about education -