what I promised my husband

On Tuesday, June 13, at approximately 7:15 pm, Dylan and I got married in our livingroom. Nine people whom we care about very much and a lovely wedding commissioner named Jody gathered around us while we made our vows. I cried, and then had to go lie down with Simpkin for a minute in the other room. Anna and Eliot were our witnesses. Dylan made potroast and I made a rhubarb crisp. It was very warm in the apartment. Anna brought a tiny plant which I managed to repot before the ceremony started. Laura brought a bouquet of flowers as big as a child. Gwen and Trevor brought champagne. Lauretta brought some of the teacups she received as wedding shower gifts over 50 years ago, and she also brought the typed-up story of that wedding shower. Ashleigh ordered pizza for August and Al. There was a bottle of wine from 1988 (Dylan's parents bought it when he was born), which might have turned into vinegar at any point during the interim 28 years, but instead became a divine elixir. Laura read from 1st Corinthians. Anna read from bell hooks. Gwen pronounced a Celtic blessing. Trevor quoted Sonnet 116. Ashleigh read (on my request) two stanzas from "The Country of Marriage" by Wendell Berry. Alley-Oop got a little drunk. I wore my strappy blue shoes. Kaylin came after work and gave us stick and poke tattoos on our fingers. (We cannot stop looking at them.) Laura read from East of Eden. Dylan said these things. And I said this:

Dylan,

As everyone here already knows, I started to love you reading your reports from Missinippe. They were full of your courage and honesty, your understanding of other people, your romanticism, and beautiful sentences--and reading them, I was exhilarated. I found something so important in them I realized it would be be easy to drop everything else. My life had become disconnected from the world and I was lonely and I didn’t know how to be loved by anybody. I did drop everything, much to your confusion, and we have become something extraordinary and volatile and capable of much more good together. You are brave to marry me. 

I know that both of us take what we are doing seriously. We both know that loving another person is difficult and profound, and that building a life together is a kind of monumental work, so I have a few things I will promise you.

I promise to speak to you as truthfully as I know how.

I promise to assume the best of you, and to do whatever I can to enable you to be an artist and a good person.

I promise to work for the life that is honest and happy for both of us.

I promise to take care of you.

I promise to share everything I have with you.

I promise not to keep scores.

And I promise to give you the freedom to love and be loved by people who are not me, and to respect all of your relationships.

I love you on a literary, epic, primal, and cosmic scale, and I am so honoured and happy to become your wife.