Monday, October 20, 2014

Two Crows' Wedding Vows

Chris and Elyse got married on October 11, 2014 in Lyons, CO.  Below are their vows as read and shared with their friends and family at Stone Mountain Lodge & Cabins.  These vows were written separately over the course of their lives.

Chris' vows to Elyse

Dearest Elyse, I promise to sing you love’s sweet song; promise to honor your spirit, to never take you for granted, so now whisper to me promise of time past eternity, where we can sleep from now until then—head touching head hearts beat as one, holding hands in slumbered sleep still.

Raindrops falling from leaves to forest floor, a river’s flow across rocks, across the leavings of a life lived full—past carried in body becomes present, becomes now; becomes forever: today is the first day of my life, this simple life. So glad I didn't die before I met you.

Sing to me, lover, sing to me love’s sweet song:
Under eternity; under eternity; under e-ter-ni-ty . . .

A freight chain rolls through dark aspen valley, KC whistle moans, counterpoint to the yip of coyotes hidden in trees while you dream. A beer to start, tears in our eyes. Spoon on rock under yawning night sky, your wing in mine, crow, and tootled roses before the reveal. I promise you more mountains to climb, promise to fly with you, crow, to that grove and whisper quaking aspen golden secrets in October twilight, to sing you songs of waters always receding after the deluge:

The tune that is yours and mine to play upon this earth
We’ll play it out the best we know, whatever it is worth
What’s lost is lost, we can’t regain what went down in the flood
But happiness to me is you and I love you more than blood

Sing to me, lover, sing to me love’s sweet song:
As the bear sleeps, and Rumi yawls in the night the poetry of our dreams. You made me promise to not wait another lifetime to find you. That promise kept, I make another: I will never let you go; won’t leave you searching under pale sky, won’t leave you lonely for the rest of our lifetimes together. Divine wisdom decreed of us lovers of each other, just as amber attracts straw. There written in blood: you, born to be my bride.

I promise my love for you is real
Moves like this autumn breeze
I promise my love for you is strong
Lord, it brings me to my knees

Sing to me, Elyse, sing to me love’s sweet song:

Think of birds I kept . . . birds I set free . . . along the winding road of my life and I am struck, because all winding roads led me here. Thought all my wanderings were one barbaric yawp into a silent void, but I was wrong. Along the way I found a life of words, found a daughter calls me daddy; found my wolf watches over me at night. And out there on that old road the void sounded back: Fly home, crow, you whispered, and so I winged, made it back home: to you: the love of my life: my lovely Elyse: my Babi. You are the only one.

I promise to watch over you, to be your sentry when you are most vulnerable, when you bleed over the typewriter and pour phrase upon the page. I promise you words when you need them; I’ll promise silence when you don’t. Above all else, I promise to continue to do those things done since I set eyes upon thee: to make you laugh and sometimes to cry; to hold your hand; to dry your eyes; to be your best friend.

Sing to me, wife, sing to me love’s sweet song:
Under eternity; under eternity; under e-ter-ni-ty . . .

And now we hold the bonds of blessed union before those who would witness, them two crows about to become one. But really two crows have always been three, so take my hand with Delia between, your new family waits. Here I surrender you my heart; now I faithfully place it in your hands under eternity. Feel it beat, lover? It beats now in time with yours; it beats now because I love you.

Under eternity . . .

Elyse's vows to Chris:

I have phrases and whole pages memorized
But nothing can be told of love
You must wait until you and I
Are living together.
In the conversation we’ll have
Then…be patient…then.

It might have been you who brought me to Rumi
But it was Rumi that brought me to you.

Chris, You’re the “you” I've been writing to my whole life.  And now I write with you, next to you, from you.  But you mean more to me than my poems.  More than honey to a buzz, more than sunlit mountain peaks, more than the elks bucking after the drought, more than a night sky flooding over, more than a place where bones of life are piled, more than laughter covering all of life’s terrible little holes. 

And though today is the day I literally have walked toward you, I realize it was you I have been walking toward all along.  And now we will walk together, side by side, until we can no longer walk.  And then we will both listen for the caw of the crow and follow her down. 

Some may say we might have met too late in our lives.  Perhaps we’re too far gone, far too tired or hurt to see what we have, to fully appreciate it.  But I say we met at the right time, when we were ready for each other, when I was ready to love this deeply.  Although I can’t deny that sometimes I wish to push time backwards, to have met you sooner, to then be able to love you longer.

I promise to stand by you, laugh with you, cry with you, fight with you, make love truer than poetry with you, never leave you or deceive you and never stop the conversation of us.

You often remind me of a brief moment in time, when we couldn't be together and I told you not to wait another lifetime to find me.  I meant what I said, but with no agenda, no intention, just to let you know that it only took me seconds to realize what a good man you are.  And how I knew, we were meant to find each other in this lifetime.  And we have.  

When I am with you, I am a better person, a better lover, writer, friend, mother, daughter, sister, auntie, I am the best version of myself.  And your daughter – our doodle, Delia –though not mine, I know a part of her comes from me, and a part of me comes from her.  I am forever changed and always changing and growing because of her.  My love sprouted roots deeper than I could have ever planted alone allowing us to become partners, to become a family, to become us.

Today I choose you, and tomorrow I will choose you again, and every day thereafter.  Chris, I will love you forever.  And if there is eternity, I’ll love you there again.  You are my best friend, the love of my life, my collaborator, my other half. 

I promise to hold onto you for as long as my body will let me, for as long as time ends and starts again, until my fingers are dust and my soul turns to water.  

1 comment:

  1. I really shed a tear at this, they are such gorgeous words, so confessional but so passionate too.