O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O, stay and hear! Your true love’s coming,
That can sing both high and low:
Trip no further, pretty sweeting.
Journeys end in lovers meeting,
Every wise man’s son doth know.
—Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene 3
I’m just going to go ahead and start with a digression: every time I spell “twelfth” I think I’m doing it wrong. Seriously, just look at it. It’s all weird. And it makes me think of fish. I don’t know why. Maybe because of “gefilte?” It doesn’t look like gefilte either. It doesn’t look like anything but itself.
Well. That was quite a digression to start with. Day two of my Year o’ Blogging is going swimmingly, as you can see. Almost literally because for a moment I thought I was going to fall off the boat tonight.
There was a boat?
Right. A yacht.
Let’s start from the beginning.
This evening I had the immense pleasure of seeing two of my friends get married (on a boat). The Bride especially is dear to me. I don’t see her often, but she is heart-kin in the way that every time we see each other it seems no time has passed at all. She’s tiny and lovely: delicate and quietly graceful like Chinese women are supposed to be. And because I’m a fat slob, my mother used to spend lots of time comparing me to her. (Hint: these comparisons always came out in her favor.)
That may have been another digression.
Regardless, she is my heart-kin, and it was gorgeous just to see her with someone she so obviously cared about, and who cherished her in turn. The Bride and Groom are both graphic designers. Which made buying a wedding card for them a nail-biting experience. I mean: I had to pay attention to typography. You wonder why this blog looks as bland as it does? Yeah.
It also means they share a special kind of love. I’ve worked with them before: not together, that is, but each individually. They both have the capacity to be visionary and facilitating, which is an admirable range to pull off. They look good together, to the extent that I found myself thinking “Was I that blind? Why didn’t I see that coming?”
It took a while, and no time at all, for them to “happen,” I guess. Life is a trip like that.
Journeys end in lovers meeting.
A few couples at the wedding described love, and sometimes marriage itself, as a journey. Which, admittedly sounds hackneyed. But I don’t think we’re ever completely free of cliche once we breach this subject, and cliches are accurate often enough for them to become hackneyed.
Disclaimer time: I’m epically single. Preposterously single. I really have no place to be speaking about love at all.
But I remember sitting next to a violinist, years ago, on our way to Venice. I was expecting what we got: a hot, slightly smelly but gorgeous-in-its-own-dirty-way city that was overrun with tourists and gelato stands. She was expecting something a little more romantic. Her parents had honeymooned there, and in her mind’s eye she still had the snapshot of her mother, a young bride, standing before a fountain in a poofy skirt. And even decades later, in her parents’ kitchen they still had a knife from the hotel they stayed at. A butter knife. A small thing. A strange little souvenir of young love.
I asked her if she were to tell the story of her journey to Venice, where would she start?
Well, she replied, she’d start with the beginning of the day, and tell it chronologically. And the logic in that is sound.
But really I’d start with the knife.
Because journeys are weird things that don’t really ever end but splinter off into different ones. And, like the case of my violinist friend, journeys can even be inherited.
Even the wedding this evening itself became a journey as The Spirit of New Jersey made a slightly choppy turn about New York harbor. So I guess a touristy little spin around Manhattan can simultaneously pretty standard and also life-changing.
That’s pretty normal I think. Life is changed by little things all the time. I specifically requested that the New Couple spend the Crate and Barrel gift card I gave them on mini-spatulas for that reason. And my other gift to them, as partial-curator of the evening’s phat jams, was a little night music.
So in short: lovers met, and journeys began.