...thank you for coming here today to witness as we become one.
Rumi asks, "who finds us here, circling bewildered, like atoms?" he points to our existence as individuals, as humans and birds and stars, and recognizes that together, we are god. that glory is our inner reality, the outer being a kind of language that explains that.
"love is the religion, the universe is the book."
what we have found in each other is a passion for experiencing both the inner glory and the outer language of being alive. by coming together here before you now, our familiar divinity, we are giving ourselves to one another and to this passion for the rest of our lives.
when Kristie and I found each other, we sought words to describe what it felt like. it was she who found Rumi, and one night she read to me:
"as Rumi was riding through the marketplace, surrounded by a knot of disciples, a stranger with piercing eyes stepped from a doorway and seized his bridle. the stranger challenged him with a question.
we cannot be entirely certain what the question was, but as Rumi was about to reply, he realized he had come face to face with the Mystery. a doorway to eternity flickered open...
and in one pure outrageous act of faith, Rumi dove through. in an instant of mystical annihilation, fire met fire, ocean ocean, and Rumi fell into pure being.
to the outside world, it is only recorded that, at Shams' question, Rumi tumbled to the ground, unconscious.
later he would say, 'what I first thought of as god, I met today as a human being.'
Shams and Rumi began a series of months-long retreats into solitude where they entered into a deep communion of words and silence called sohbet. who can say what transpired there?"
this is to be in part a Quaker service. in the Quaker faith there are no ministers as it is believed that no one is closer to god than anyone else. the worship that takes place is a gathering of people of faith, who sit together in silence, speaking if and when they are moved to do so.
paraphrased from a Quaker reader: "in silence, without rite or symbol, we have known divinity so convincingly present in our quiet meetings, that grace dispels our faithlessness, our unwillingness, our fears, and sets our hearts aflame with the joy of adoration."
in a moment, Kristie and Jim will exchange their vows. after the vows there will be music, and then silence. within this silence anyone is welcome to give voice to prayer or messages to the couple. Jim and Kristie will end the period of silence and sharing by standing and exchanging rings.
through loving you, I feel like I'm just beginning to understand love. always just beginning.
I bring to you all that I am, and as we learn and grow together, all that I will be.
as one, we will move through words, I vow to listen to you with the ears of my heart, and to speak with my heart's truth
as one, we will move through hurt, I vow to completely unravel before you, and to hold you faithfully when you unravel before me
as one, we will move through expression, I vow to explore with you the shared universe of galaxies that were created by our merging, to occupy these wordless places, and to build with you ways to share them with the world
as one, we will move through space, I vow to revel in the world reflected in your eyes, to see what you will show me, and to show you what I have seen
as one, we will move through time, I vow to remind you that every moment is an opportunity for the extraordinary, to listen when you remind me when I get caught up in the mundane, and to hold the progression of our lives and love over all fleeting obligations
as one, we will move through life, I vow to share this earthly existence with you, to share in sickness and health, weakness and strength, uncertainty and faith; to share the boundless passion of being alive as fully and completely as two bodies with one spirit can.
from this moment forward, I take our marriage as my highest honor, my greatest challenge, and my sacred duty. that I may be your husband and keep you as my wife, forever.
there is a photo on your website of the earthquake shattered freeway ramp in front of Electric Minds. the road leads skyward, ends in mid-air. the road loops from the foreground of the image to the top, and is framed in such a way that the image is mostly sky. there is very little actual freeway in the photograph. for me, this makes the image all the more powerful. it puts me under the freeway without really showing me the freeway. there is this enormous implied road which is all the more real than a photo of the road itself would be, because by giving me the sky and a hint of the freeway, the image forces me to create my freeway myself.
I have no words with which to speak the sky, or the freeway, just as I cannot speak to you with words why it is that you are unlike everyone else in the universe to me. the best I can do today is to be the finger you love to invoke, the one which points to the dog which is barking at the moon.
what I love about the moon is the awareness it creates of the sky. the that the photograph reveals the freeway by hinting at it, the way the freeway reveals the sky.
these words can only point toward the way you are my sky.
as a little girl I loved to think of infinity or forever. I would picture the sky and follow it out through the solar system, and further. I would think: "so it goes on and on and on and on..."
you have shown me the sky all over again, and I am here today to say forever to my sky. to you.
it is the craziest, bravest, most grandiose and humble thing I have ever done.
from this moment forward, I take our marriage as my highest honor, my greatest challenge, and my sacred duty. that I may be your wife and keep you as my husband. forever.
(here, some of our favorite people stood and said things that made us cry. you made our wedding. thank you.)
will you be my wife?
will you be my husband?
if you, the beloved family of James Hart and Kristie Haag, affirm that you have witnessed and sanctify this marriage, please answer with a resounding yes!
Jim, will you kiss the bride?