Violet and I had a beautiful wedding in Malibu, CA, on June 22nd. A wide open blue skies with soft breezes tempered the heat of the longest day of the year where, atop a mountain plateau high above the ocean, with a view that inspired all to a sense of awe, we were wedded. The ceremony, held at the site of an ancient medicine wheel in use for ceremonies since the days of the Chumash and used just the day before for a Solstice gathering and ritual held by Mary and Eric Wright, who own the land, brought together many traditions and cultures, all of the elements and our own families and community as witness to our union. The elements, represented by a male and female each, and all of them dear friends, were led in by Robin and Rafael, who officiated the ceremony. They have both been with us since we first met, with Robin being my go-to person to talk about Violet with and vice versa. Now, here they were, as our priest and priestess, directing, casting, holding space for us, honoring us with their own blessings. We were welcomed into the circle and, after the initial opening, directed by Robin to each element who, in turn, blessed us with words and traditions of their own choosing. Only our actions were rehearsed. The words, though written, memorized, etc, were fresh to all of our ears. It was not repeating lines but being in the moment, the truth.
I had a voice in my head though, badgering me. It was my father whom I could feel grimacing through the whole thing. He is a staunch Catholic and, as such, takes issue with any spiritual path that is not distinctly his and enjoys proselytizing, especially to me, his oldest son who seems to have high spiritual motivations but also has, well, tended to such an opposite path. We already had a moment a few days before while eating dinner at World Famous down on the ocean in Pacific Beach. Enjoying the sunset, eating a seared ahi salad, I told them about (<a href=”http://www.mclightenment.com” target=”_blank”>McLightenment</a>. I knew it would get his goat a bit but there is a message there (even for him), tho he wasn’t interested in hearing it. Instead he used it as one more opportunity to turn things around, find something wrong with it and then use it to start needling at other practices of mine, like yoga.
“Look, dad,” I said, “Let it go. You have your path to your truest self and I have mine. They might be completely different and there are some things we might never agree on but they are our paths and that’s that.”
He kind of stuttered for a moment realizing that was the truth. So he shut up, although thinking about it now and again it makes me feel a bit of anxiety. Every son wants to be loved by his father but not just loved but respected as well, respected for the choices we make, respected for the paths we choose. My father might never get why I have chosen the path that I have, although he seems to make every effort to sway me towards his own. I’m 32 years down a path that continues to get brighter, more loving and more compassionate. I am in love with the universe – this great spirit that is all things – and it is in love with me.
So here we are getting married then and I have his voice, echoes of discussion, judgment, passing through my head while I am trying to remain present to the words of love, the blessings, the admonitions and foundations that are being passed along to us from some of our dearest friends.
Leave, I tell it, get out. I have no time for you. This is my day. Not yours. This ceremony is a manifestation of Violet and I. It is our truth and we are living it.
And it quieted down. It lurched off. Our ceremony, you see, was almost completely pagan- the elements, the blessings of the spirit, all of these things: it chafed against all of his own beliefs, structures and systems. Yet, if he were to pause, he could have seen the beauty in it. I would like to believe that he did. My mom got it. My brother loved it. Our friends – to them it was completely natural and in tune with the rhythm of life and the love of spirit.
When we returned to the center of the circle, Robin and Rafael invited everyone to stand around the circle and hold hands and be witness to our union, as we spoke our vows, exchanged our rings and were pronounced Michael and Violet Divine.
The circle remained as we exited, holding hands as one.
Later our reception was held down under some great old oak trees, on a large deck, with a small waterfall cascading over boulders into a little pond of lilies. We danced, we drank some wine (<a href=”http://www.casabarranca.com” target=”_blank”>Casa Barranca </a>– Thanks Bill!) We laughed and hugged. We munched on tasty food. Pictures were taken. It is all a blur now or memories, memories and moments. A beautiful sun set over the mountains casting rays of golden magenta light. It was perhaps one of the most beautiful days of my life.
After days of hard work – from hand block-printing and accenting each invitation that went out to making the pants and skirts of all the elements who played a role in our ceremony to our own outfits- Violet’s dress, my pants and shirt, our necklaces and wrist cuffs… to the planning and phoning and meeting and deciding and buying and and and… To see it all come together and be a perfectly wonderful 7 hours. 7 hours of people who have come to celebrate with us in such a beautiful way- to see us united. It wasn’t a birthday party or even just a party in honor of us- it was a party in honor of our divine union. There are few other reasons I can think of to have such a wonderful time. To have it in such a beautiful setting surrounded by all of the elements – the ocean and the mountains, the sun and the wind… and the Divine.
Pictures and other info can be seen here: www.michaelandviolet.com
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