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Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States
Interests: Sacred union with the Divine, KAPPA DELTA, awakening my inner Bad-Ass and the people who help me, cello, chainsaws, choir, parthenogenesis, entheogenesis, karma, enlightenment, forestry, midwifery, MacGyver, lumberjacks, symphony concerts, anything purple, pictures of myself, coffee-drinking, ridiculously expensive lip-gloss, my charm bracelet, trees, being domestic, unicorns, French, bearing your children, rehearsing my Naked Barbie Orchestra, hugs, Rocking Out, camping, hiking, anything outdoors, writing, Psychedelic Christianity, the mystical properties of menstruation, cultivating true friendships, complicated undergarments, counting blessings before they hatch, creativity, caring, breeding, being taken seriously, Yay-zoo Kree-stay, beatific visions, mysticism, discovering a way to procreate with Kerouac
Expertise: forest issues, being a rock-star, dream interpretations, coffee tasting, history of undergarments, proper grammar, cookie baking, being a door-mat, medicinal herbs, StarGate SG-1, being from Michigan, why milk is bad for you, purity, mysticism, general genius
Occupation: Consulting Forester
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|All right, so i was watching a documentary on the Dixie Chicks called "Shut up and Sing" --- a phrase that since its inception has made the blood boil under my skin and rise to goose-bumps. I have felt a solidarity with them in all their trials and all their successes. I have decided they are prophets, to be revered. |
You can find prophets anywhere. Another one is Audrey--born in 2000 ("The year of the Dragon!" she tells me) who sings in the children's choir at St. Luke's, and who the other adults say is "always off in space". Space? Maybe. Deep within the heart of the Creator? Definitely. We line up near a unisex bathroom labeled, "UNISEX". Audrey one Sunday realized that her perfect tiny hand could exactly cover the letters "UNI" if she held her hand just right. I laughed with everything i had in me. She asked, "Why are you laughing?" and what could i answer? I shouldn't laugh, i should tell her not to make attempts at adult humor .... this isn't a particularly good example of what a special child she is, but i enjoy finding my prophets in strange places.
Matt and i are doing daily devotions now. It's one of our new lifestyle changes so we can get into good patterns as husband and wife. We're also exercising 3 times a week (um, starting yesterday. I'm hoping we stick with it!)
but what made me remember the Dixie Chicks is what we read in our morning prayer (using the daily scriptures found in week 2 of Lent in the Book of Common Prayer)
John 4:44---"Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country."
So true. In the song "Lubbock or Leave it" Natalie sings about how hard it is to be hated in your own hometown. Buddy Holly is also from Lubbock, and Natalie sings to the huge statue of him in the airport, "I hear they hate me now just like they hated you. Maybe when I'm dead and gone I'm gonna get a statue too!"
that's how she phrases it. Being a mystic or a prophet is insanely difficult and rewarding. Sometimes the balance of "difficult and rewarding" is off. The best way i have to phrase it is that it's like, "Being in exile IN the promised land" not in exile FROM the promised land, but IN it. savvy?
Prayer isn't peaceful. Meditation especially. Prayer is when you talk, Meditation is when you Listen. Often it's when i see my pain connected with a greater pain and it brings me to tears. Often it's when i see my love connected with a greater love and it brings me to tears. Often it just brings me to tears and i cannot figure out why.
But i can see it in other people -- others whose lives have been changed by listening and not backing down once they've heard.
The Dixie Chicks
We are still waiting to hear back from the Bishop to find out whether or not we can get married within the Episcopal Church. Maybe the answer will be yes, maybe the answer will be no, and maybe the answer will be not yet. When thinking about this---this great big BLOCK in my plans like a huge rock in the road or like having to winch a truck out of the mud--- i realized i had no idea what this man whose signature i crave looks like. So i looked him up HERE. He looks friendly and wise, and i read a beautiful letter he wrote HERE and i see from all of this that i can put my trust in him without knowing him.
We plan to have our reception at a castle HERE, and if we cannot get married in the church, we will keep the "church date" of May 31 and have both our ceremony AND our reception at the castle. So we have a Plan A (a church ceremony followed by a castle reception), a Plan B (ceremony and reception at the castle), a date (May 31), and a whole lot of LOVE
|We had our first session with the "pre-marital" counselor yesterday, and i'm really just thoroughly disappointed and frustrated. Counseling is a pre-requisite to getting married in pretty much any church. I was super excited about doing it, and now i'm just super let-down. I was just expecting something wildly different because of how highly recommended this guy came to us. He's the marriage counselor for the whole diocese and so i'm not sure what choice we have in who we talk to...so i guess we'll just roll with the punches. |
First, Dude just had a bad vibe, man. You know how some people just make your hairs stand on end and make you put up your shields?
It was the little things, like the fact that he completely ignored me the entire time. About 40 minutes in, he asked, "Guinevere, do you mind if i treat you like a potted plant?" and i thought he meant we were going to role play and Matt would have to water me or something. So, i just busied myself with photosynthesizing and let the men have their manly talk about men things while i was a plant. Then he never got back to the plant analogy, he just meant, "i'm going to ignore you for the rest of the session, as though you were a plant". aha. Matt and i talk things through--a lot--so none of the things he and Mr. Treat-Guinevere-Like-A-Plant dude were talking about offered any new startling insight--i'd heard it all before! I'm really hoping this is some kind of strategy and that next time he'll talk to me more, perhaps allowing matt to be a plant? [this isn't useful to us, but i'm sure it's great for some couples!] I didn't even get so far as to mention the fact that i have a brother. I got as far as saying i went to Sewanee, majored in forestry, am employed in my third post-college job and that my parents are married. He then wanted to talk about the seminary at Sewanee and i said that the seminary is the graduate school but on the same campus, and that i was there as an undergraduate and majored in forestry and he said, "Ah. Forestry! So you're a Michigan State Grad, eh?" I said, "No, i just got done telling you about Sewanee, remember?" and he gave me a brushed-off apology and started talking to matt again. Clearly, he wasn't listening while i was talking about undergrad at Sewanee. Damn him. At the end, he asked me what i had learned during our session, and i smiled huge and said, "Absolutely nothing!" and then had to pay him...
Anyway, i was so angry with how the conversation went that i had a super hard time getting to sleep and woke up sore and cranky.
He gave us homework: a 7-page questionnaire with impossibly ambivalent questions that i'm having a hard time answering .... so i decided to edit them somewhat. He keeps referring to my "future partner" for instance. It ticks me off cuz matt's already my partner, so i crossed out the "future" from every single question and it makes them easier to answer. Here's one of my answers, for instance:
Q: "When you (write a positive comment about your future partner):
Q: "I feel (write a positive emotion that you feel):
but i'm second-guessing myself because i don't want him picking apart these responses....the questions and my answers seem relatively meaningless, since matt and i discuss everything important and unimportant already, every day!
some more examples....
his Q: Love is usually having to say:
my A: Love has nothing to do with what you say.
Q: Describe some of the ways to best help your children grow and mature.
A: I'll have to have them first. Each child (read: human being) is different.
Q: In a happy family, children should be:
...that last one is so true...
|Yesterday we had our first appointment with the priest who will be performing our ceremony. We had a deeply honest and open two-hour conversation about our childhoods, families, and how we came together and why we’ve come together so well. Things are coming into place and I feel like a lot of the initial pressure has been lifted in one way or another. I’ve picked out colors, purchased matt’s ring (it’s being crafted as we speak, and I should have it by mid-march , my dress, my bridesmaid dresses, my-save-the-date cards (which aren’t being sent until we’ve set a date , working out a guest list, and generally doing a lot of ungrounded worrying. |
Mother Beth gave us several readings to consider and I’ve been learning a lot about why marriage is a sacrament, a celebration, a blessing, and a Christian thing. I’ve been saying this for a while (and I didn’t know until yesterday that it’s actually pretty standard) but I feel that being with Matt lets me finally understand a small portion of Christ’s love for each of us, and that being loved by Matt allows me to be a more loving person to the rest of the world, thereby making it easier to answer Christ’s call to love each and every person I encounter. That’s why people get married—because making a loving commitment to that one specific person brings you closer to the Creator, closer to the ultimate truth, closer to fine, closer to entering into God’s Reign. That's a pretty heavy load, and i trust Matt with it. I hope each and every one of you can find someone you trust that much --- not just trust with your life, but trust with the shakedown of your eternal life. E-friggin-ternity.
I also found out that a "best man" was traditionally the man who accompanied the groom to a neighboring village. The groom picked out a girl to abduct, and the best man was supposed to distract the girl's family or beat them/club them/otherwise fight them off if necessary while the groom dragged the abducted girl back to his dwelling.
Dwell in God's Love until next time friends.
|i wish getting married COULD be forefront in my mind, but it's not. The "real world" is still very present and demanding. I don't know how anybody gets the time to plan a wedding. It will be worth it in the end, because in the end, no matter what, we will be left with a MARRIAGE! |
I've never been that little girl who pictures a picture-perfect-princess wedding, and i've never had much of a dream or vision, and my family doesn't have any 'traditions' to fall back on, so here goes:
When I envision our wedding, I picture just our family and the people-who-are-like family (dear friends who i/he/we love dearly), in the same place at the same time for the first time, in a place where Matt and I both feel at peace. This puts St. Luke's at the very top, and I'm pushing for "simple and soon!" We've been married in our hearts a long time, and it's coming time to have it recognized outside of our hearts!
I really want our marriage to be blessed by and recognized by our church, where matt and i both sing in the choir, and the only church where we have both felt comfortable together. However, we have come across another unexpected obstacle: because one or more of us has previously been married, we need special permission from the Bishop before we are allowed to reserve a date within the church. Mother Beth says the turn around time once something hits the Bishop's desk is 4 weeks. FOUR WEEKS before we can set a date?!?!?!?! GAAAAAAAAH! Ok. so....i'm posing a question to people who might know stuff about things: how likely is it that he will say, "NO DICE!" to the whole marriage idea? [in which case, um....well, we'll move on to Plan B. Plan B is as follows : think of a Plan C]
So, give me FIVE WEEKS (one week to get it on the Bishop's desk, four weeks to approve it) before asking me more questions, but do offer advice at any time. I'm very confused about how to go about things. i've read all the most recent and most antiquated stuff on it, and some things in between.
How much lead-time do people need to travel to a wedding? Is 8 weeks enough? I am still hoping for a spring wedding (this spring), but since we can't set a date until mid-february at the earliest, well, it leaves things up in the air as to "when" .... and i don't know how much lead-time photographers, caterers, florists, etc need in this area and i was hoping to therefore skirt around the busy "wedding season".
Here's the list of things that are important to me:
1] the people who will be there (the good people in our lives!)
2] the ceremony
3] the photography (gotta have something to show the grandkiddies)
Here's an open offer to anyone :
You can sleep on our floor (if you clear a space first) and i will feed you (poorly) if you plan all this for us.
|1] you get hit on WAY more [guys see the ring and suddenly i'm like the forbidden apple or something]|
2] strangers/strange-acquaintances suddenly become very interested in your life
3] people begin incessantly asking the question, "HAVE YOU SET A DATE YET?" [the answer is: not yet, however we really really want to, but all the clergy/organist/etc at our church (our first choice for location) are on vacation.
4] people want to know how he proposed [how come no one ever wants to know the other mushy stuff Matt does?] here's the story: It was Christmas Eve, around 3pm, and we were alone in our apartment as per usual. We had a lot of plans for that evening and for Christmas, so we wanted to exchange gifts early. I was totally surprised to see my leather jacket with its lining repaired!!! that leather jacket means SOOOOOO much to me that i started to cry [i bought it at a vintage store named "Wiffinpoofs" in Winchester, TN many years ago, and i'm kinda known for that jacket, as in, "oh, there goes Guinevere and her leather jacket!" and if there were a fire, it would be one of the few things i would try to grab]. However, the lining had become totally torn so that i could hardly get my arms in anymore, and i decided it was too expensive to fix it, so matt surprised me by having it done for me!!! Here is a picture of me in college wearing that jacket so you know what i'm talking about:
So, i was totally surprised and started to cry, and then he said, "i have one more gift for you!" and he got down on one knee and the rest is history. I said, "yes". he said, "I'm not very good at proposing" as though it's something he does all the time, like, "I'm not very good at bowling". He's cute. I'm marrying him. Anyhow, then we went to his parents' house to hang out with his fam, then we went and sung a Midnight Mass, and then we drove to my parents' house (getting in a little after 2am, and waking up a little after 5am). Christmas was a blur, and i didn't want to distract too much from Jesus (the Reason for the season) so i stayed pretty low-key. Anyhow, back to the list i was making:
5] i smile way more than usual
6] and laugh way more than usual
7] everyone asks, "Really?" um, yeah. really.
8] they also ask, "is it real?" i'll tell you the same thing i told you when you asked, "is it real?" about my tattoo: YES!!! i'm an honest gal. maybe i don't seem like the tattooed type, or the marriage type, but here i am : tattooed, engaged, and currently watching fat snowflakes fall all around.
...i'll finish this list later
actually, i am overjoyed. overwhelmed. verklempt.
my ring is gorgeous. it's perfect for me--simple, elegant, dainty --- not at all cumbersome for someone who works with her hands as much as i do. Also, it looks just like the ring i used to play with as a little girl --- that ring was a piece of costume jewelry that goes back at least to age four, when my mom used to wrap it with string so that it would fit my finger and i'd run around my preschool pretending to be engaged/married. It was very meaningful to me, and matt had no idea i had such memories when he chose my engagement ring. He's amazing.
it came with a matching wedding band. i'm stoked cuz that means i'm actually getting married.
i bought some wedding magazines the other day. i'm a bride-to-be! wowwwwwwwweeeeeee!
everyone who has already gotten married: GIVE ME ADVICE!!!
The plan is to do something small. we'd love to do it at the church where we sing as early as this spring (why be engaged when what you want is to be married?). I'll keep you posted as to dates and plans and i love all y'all.