EXCERPT FROM THEIR CEREMONY:
You have requested I read a special piece entitled “A Parable” by Maynard James Keenan, which best captures your love: “We barely remember who or what came before this precious moment. We are choosing to be here right now, hold on, stay inside this holy reality, this holy experience. Twirling round with this familiar parable, spinning, weaving round each new experience. Recognize this as a holy union and celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing. This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality. Choosing to be here in this body, this body holding me, be my reminder here that I am not alone.”
A parable is an instructive story expressed in prose or verse or lyrics. To the agnostic, fairy tales are obvious examples; to the faithful, tales of divinely inspired women and men are closer to the heart. However, a parable need not be culled from some great storyteller or book or song. We can create parables every day too. We tend to assume that the lifestyle led finds its source in the most sublime values. In truth, gestures, actions, and words mold us even more so. Practicing the art of love shows us the blissful, wondrous truths of abstract morals.
Kind courtesy, so often identified as lacking in our world, begins at home. It begins with quiet respect. A hand reaches for salt, and the receiver smiles in gratitude. A family works silently in harmony to put away the groceries. A partner – a husband or wife – departs for the day and gives a kiss. Troubled eyes prompt a warm embrace. Then politeness graduates to words – the sharing of hopes, venting frustrations, and creating private jokes – which give birth to listening and communicating. Counsel is given in modesty. Insights become gained through nature, science, faith, and books, as well as the canniness of children and elders alike. Knowledge matures, confidence strengthens, and so does the willingness to act with gentle ambition.
If we devote ourselves to making each day the embryo of a parable, then moments do indeed take on a holy character. As you two go forward, remember this civil ceremony as a sort of parable. No alliance is ever perfectly content each day; no person immune to being blind to his or her own faults and overly critical or neglectful. The real holiness of marriage emerges from remembering and adopting once again the wedding vows first promised when troubles come.
J+J, next week and ten years from now, today will be a story told to all you know. Tell them that your wedding day was your first official family parable. It was a lesson that revealed how following the path of sincerely shared love will lead to immensely happy celebrations.