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Getting Closer

I don’t think there’s much point in trying to keep the date of the wedding a secret. (Greg was concerned about me announcing when we’d be out of town — ever since the break-in it’s seemed like a good idea to exercise a bit more caution around here — but it turns out that a couple of good friends of our will be staying in our house while we’re getting married that weekend so I’m not too worried about revealing the date anymore.)

I’m going to marry Greg Boose on July 19th.

That’s less than two weeks away. And there’s still a lot to do. Most everything is done — our families have been wonderful about just taking over and making decisions and coming up with ideas and that’s just fine with us. We still need a spot for the rehearsal dinner but I think I have it pretty well narrowed down. And Greg and I are still on a hunt for the perfect little hotel where we can stay together the night of our wedding — we’d love to take the ferry out to Martha’s Vineyard after the reception and stay overnight there. Oh, and we need wedding bands. And I need a rehearsal dinner dress. And shoes.

But the most important thing to do yet is work on the ceremony itself. Although my uncle is a minister and has performed plenty of weddings, I still want to plan out the majority of the ceremony. What we say and do in those moments are very important to me. I have a lot of ideas and have been making a lot of notes and combing over in my head all the meaningful wedding ceremonies I’ve attended. (If anyone wants to share any ideas for ways to make a ceremony meaningful or personal or even just suggest readings or poems or candle rituals, I’d love to hear about it.)

Last Friday we had the most wonderful yoga party on the deck with about 20 people in attendance. (Check out our write-up all about it on She Wrote, He Wrote.) And on Saturday I took Greg to see my favorite hospice patient — a 95 year old retired revered that I’ve been visiting every week for 6 months now. He’s been the most wonderful father-figure in my life these last months and every week our time together never ceases to calm and restore me. On Saturday he gave us a blessing for our marriage and told Greg several times what a lucky man he is and they just don’t make ‘em like me anymore.

On Saturday night we hosted an 8 person dinner party out on the deck. My dear friend George Ducker was in town from LA and he came over in the late afternoon and we drank mimosas and ate brie and crackers and the three of us caught up on all our favorite topics. Later some of Greg’s friends who were also in town joined us and I made grilled pork tenderloin skewered with country bread and bacon, potatoes gratin and grilled asparagus and we ate out under the stars with the trees whispering above us and ever so often I took a deep breath and reminded myself to take these moments in, to be present, to be here, to love appreciate and be grateful for all that my life is right now.

Watching fireworks by the lake on the 4th of July:



  1. Claire – this is all so sweet. The two of you are positively glowing in that photo. I don’t know either of you… but I’m truly happy for you! You seem to have achieved something that can only come from experience and the journey of time.
    Much ‘happy’ to both of you!

    Comment by Christine on July 7, 2008 at 12:27 pm

  2. Hi Claire
    I married my Greg two years ago in the most beautiful ceremony – even the celebrant cried. We got married on a misty day in the Blue Mountains in Sydney to the sound of pattering rain on everyone’s umbrella’s and the gleaming evergreen’s of the garden, it was magic.
    I wanted to send you a suggestion for your ceremony as Greg and I did this and it was a very special moment. We choose to read a section out of a Martin Luther King speech which was about extending love out to everyone, here is a little bit ” call for a world wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all embracing and unconditionally love for all men”
    Then we had a moment of silence to pray for all the people in the world who needed our love and weren’t as blessed as we were that day. It has set such a loving tone for the way that Greg and I and our families relate to each other.
    Good luck, remember no matter what happens it is a perfect day.

    Comment by Tanya Demello on July 7, 2008 at 7:58 pm

  3. Hi, Claire:
    Here are two of my favorites, both by Hafiz:
    It happens all the time in heaven
    It happens all the time in heaven,
    And some day
    It will begin to happen
    Again on earth -
    That men and women who are married,
    And men and men who are
    And women and women
    Who give each other
    Often will get down on their knees
    And while so tenderly
    Holding their lover’s hand,
    With tears in their eyes,
    Will sincerely speak, saying,
    “My dear,
    How can I be more loving to you;
    How can I be more
    Our Union
    union is like this:
    You feel cold so I reach for a blanket to cover
    our shivering feet.
    A hunger comes into your body
    so I run to my garden and start digging potatoes.
    You asked for a few words of comfort and guidance and
    I quickly kneel by your side offering you
    a whole book as a
    You ache with loneliness one night so much
    you weep, and I say
    here is a rope, tie it around me,
    Hafiz will be your
    companion for
    I’m so sorry it didn’t work out, so long ago now, for me to help you with editing your book. I still love reading your blog and do so all the time. All the very, very best to you and Greg!

    Comment by krista on July 7, 2008 at 9:32 pm

  4. I hope you don’t mind me filling up your comments, but here are a couple by Rumi, too:
    The minute I heard my first love story,
    I started looking for you, not knowing
    how blind that was.
    Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
    they’re in each other all along.
    The Freshness
    When it’s cold and raining,
    you are more beautiful.
    And the snow brings me
    even closer to your lips.
    The inner secret, that which was never born,
    you are that freshness, and I am with you now.
    I can’t explain the goings,
    or the comings. You enter suddenly,
    and I am nowhere again,
    Inside the majesty.
    Those who don’t feel this love
    pulling them like a river,
    Those who don’t drink dawn
    like a cup of spring water
    or take sunset like supper,
    Those who don’t want to change,
    Let them sleep.
    This Love
    is beyond the study of theology
    that old and trickery and hypocrisy.
    If you want to improve your mind that way,
    Sleep on.
    I’ve given up on my brain.
    I’ve torn the cloth to shreds
    and thrown it away.
    If you’re not completely naked,
    wrap your beautiful robe of words
    around you
    and sleep.
    Looking For Your Face
    From the beginning of my life
    I have been looking for your face,
    but today I have seen it.
    Today I have seen
    the charm, the beauty,
    the unfathomable grace
    of the face
    that I was looking for.
    Today I have found you
    and those that laughed
    and scorned me yesterday
    are sorry that they were not looking
    as I did.
    I am bewildered by the magnificence
    of your beauty
    and wish to see you with a hundred eyes.
    My heart has burned with passion
    and has searched forever
    for this wondrous beauty
    that I now behold.
    I am ashamed
    to call this love human
    and afraid of God
    to call it divine.
    Your fragrant breath
    like the morning breeze
    has come to the stillness of the garden.
    You have breathed new life into me.
    I have become your sunshine
    and also your shadow.
    My soul is screaming in ecstasy.
    Every fiber of my being
    is in love with you.
    Your effulgence
    has lit a fire in my heart,
    and you have made radiant
    for me
    the earth and sky.
    My arrow of love
    has arrived at the target.
    I am in the house of mercy
    and my heart
    is a place of prayer.

    Comment by krista on July 7, 2008 at 10:07 pm

  5. Re meaningful ceremony. Well, you asked for it, so here’s my two bobs worth.
    Seal it with a K.I.S.S.
    That is ‘keep it simple stupid’.
    Go for clarity not poetry.
    “I gladly share my life, hopes and fears, thoughts and feelings, body and soul, joys and sorrows, (whatever else), with you Greg for the rest of my life.”
    Leave the hyperbole and poetry to others, who will no doubt oblige.

    Comment by Paul on July 8, 2008 at 1:12 am

  6. Wow, thanks for weighing in everyone.
    Christine, thanks for the sweet message!
    Tanya, thank you for sharing a bit about your marriage to your Greg (love that) and thank you for the quote as well — I really like that sentiment so much.
    Krista, thank you so much for all the beautiful verses. I came across that first one of Rumi’s that you quoted the other day and really like it a lot. They’re all wonderful though — thank you!
    Paul, thanks for weighing in as well! Although I’ll probably use a poem or two, I do want to remember to keep things simple!

    Comment by Claire Bidwell Smith on July 9, 2008 at 8:02 am

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