Thursday, May 06, 2010

a swath of stillness

For most of my wedding day, I felt like this:

[all photos by Lisa Berry]

The day was comprised by a series of extreme emotions. Trembling and twitterpated (pre-ceremony). Blissfully, giddily happy (during ceremony). Tearfully thankful (during toasts). As soon as one feeling grabbed ahold of me, another yanked me away, like a spinning teacups ride of emotion. Flipping slowly through our photos, I relive each heady moment.

And yet, it is one particular part of that day to which my mind returns, again and again. Following the ceremony, as our guests made their way up the hill from the church to the reception, Stefan and I hung back, just the two of us and our stealthy photographer, Lisa. 

Strolling along Benefit Street with the buildings of Providence's Downcity visible in the backdrop, I marked the gentle, lapping breeze of that sweet-tempered afternoon. We walked in silence, my husband and I. I squeezed his hand, my fingers testing out the feel of the new metal there. Lisa, ever the professional, was practically out of sight, yet I still felt the gaze of the lens. It affected me oddly: I felt at once within and without myself, conscious of the texture of my gown and the paleness of my skin, yet also the pervasive calm that billowed through my body. 

I had never in my life felt so engaged in the present moment. I experienced and relished the many sensations around me, the sweetness of the breeze, the tightness of my shoes, the warmth of my husband's hand. To say that I felt happy, to say even that I felt gloriously happy would not quite get it right. I felt nothing and everything. Simply, stunningly, I felt. God seemed to be at once everywhere. 


"I believe that if you follow this love all the way to its end, if you start with the thing you find most beautiful and trace its perfume back to its essence, you will perceive an intangible presence, a swath of stillness, that allows the thing you love to be visible like the openness of the sky reveals the presence of the moon." ~ Geneen Roth


  1. love this. i'm down to 16 days. oy.

  2. I'm so excited for you, Kate! I cannot wait to see photos, especially now that I've seen the location. How absolutely stunning!

    I wish I would have let go of some of the nerves before my own wedding...the week leading up to it, as soon as I would lie down to sleep, the anxiety seemed to pool in chest; I couldn't shake it, and I definitely couldn't get any sleep! In the end, it was just awesome, and I want to tell pre-wedding Elyssa to go for a run or something -- anything! -- to blow off the steam.

  3. To my Daughter-in-Love:

    I am so moved by this post. It returns me to that beautiful time and place. And to be with you in your thoughts during that magical day is so very special. I'm going to linger awhile and relish the memory.


  4. What stunning photos-- your flowers, what are they? And do you live in Providence, RI? I was just there in late March! Darn that we didn't 'know' each other then. Finally, and most importantly, what a wonderful recollection of such a special time.

  5. @Bonnie: Isn't it wonderful to reminisce? I especially loved that that day brought so many members of our family together.

    @Rosie: My flowers (lisianthus) were a last-minute choice, actually, and I'm really glad I went with them (and the dinner-plate dahlias for the bridesmaids). The colors make me so happy. (Here are some more photos if you're interested:

    I live about 15 minutes north of Providence, but I try to go in at least once a week -- I LOVE that city! What were you there for? And yes, I'm sorry too that we didn't know each other at the time!

  6. What a fabulous last minute choice! I'm not on Facebook but am sure I'll cave soon; when I do, I'll have to check out your pics!

    I spoke at Brown about body image and had a great little visit. I just love New England!

  7. Wow, very cool! We actually got married on the Brown campus (at the First Unitarian Church, and the reception was at the Brown Faculty Club).

  8. Oh such lovely photos - and lovely memories of such a special time.

  9. Thanks so much for the kind words. I really can't say enough about our immensely talented photographer! So grateful that she helped preserve the memories in such a lovely way.