One Bride A-Leaping!
And everyone there was nice and kind and fun and awesome. Not one mean person there, no bad apples. The three day period of setup, execution and breakdown went fairly seamlessly from my point of view, with people who had never met before immediately pitching in and doing what needed to be done and EFFICIENTLY and suddenly -- lo! Everything was set up, everything was perfect. Many hands make light work, especially when they are the hands of such lighthearted, warm-hearted people. So many times over the weekend I thought this is the way things should always be -- such was the McBennelandishment of the whole weekend!
And there was vegan food! GOOD vegan food! Not just penne with vegetables!
Trey and I had so much fun together too, just being together, reading the comics in the hotel, being a couple, being best friends, being a team, noticing birds, making each other laugh. It's so nice to be at weddings together because as you are wholeheartedly present with and cheering for the couple as they pledge their love, you are also re-pledging your love along with theirs. And they are such a stellar, happy, perfectly suited pair of adventurous, kind, funny, fun-loving people you can't help but want to jump up and down and pump your fist in the air about it.
As people were toasting the couple during the reception, I suddenly realized what the theme of my toast would have been -- I remembered that line from that Louise Gluck poem I have used in blog entries about weddings (like brides leaping from a great height) which was a poem we studied in Kate Brogan's Modern Poetry class which is where I first met Ashlee, and realizing in a flash how that image, as a symbol of risk-taking and faith and an adventurous spirit was SO EXACTLY Ashlee to me! and how much I admire her and her creativity and spontaneity and romantic nature, how she loves to luxuriate in the world. But she was wrapping up the toasting and I didn't want to get up there and ramble on when I wasn't sure exactly what to say and it was time to move on to the DoubleWide (btw, one of the most fun bars I have ever been to, so many NYC bars TRY to be the DoubleWide and FAIL miserably, Trash Bar being one of many pathetic examples, props to you DoubleWide!) for what was a really spectacularly fun afterparty.
So this morning I realized that I didn't even remember what that poem was called, and through the grace of Google discovered that I have mis-remembered that line for 13 years: it's
Like brides leaping to a great height-
Evermore upward, not hurled into space. A key difference. Rereading the whole poem, I realized that it says so much about what I treasure about my friendship with Ashlee, and how she inspires me to be more brave, and worry less, and ignore the Puritanical depressive voices in my head. So here it is, in full:
I have a friend who still believes in heaven.
I love you!