Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Meanwhile, I Keep Dancing

Whoops! In all the running-around excitement of last week (whirlwind work weekend/cottage trip/epic friend hangout/what-have-you), I completely forgot to update this blog. To be fair, I have a good reason: I am going crazy.

Because we are getting married, and because we're doing it in a venue that has to be transformed from a semi-broken poo- and hay-storage unit into something that, at the most, will be thrillingly amazing (and at the least will be structurally sound), my brain is on fire basically 24/7. I go to sleep thinking about lists of things we need to do. I wake up thinking about those same lists. I email from the subway and I text from work. I call people and call them again. We make plans. We make things. We are trying to create an experience for ourselves that we're proud of, that we can point to and say, "We did that as a couple, with our families and friends. We love each other. We made this." And sometimes, part of that experience is shooting bolt upright at three AM wondering where we're going to find tiki torches.

This whole process reminds me of that beautiful quote from Hillel: I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Sigh. Yes, right? Because that is this.

People keep showing up for us in a big way, and I'm so grateful. I have so many anxieties and fears (death, divorce, unhappiness, embarrassment, etc), and these people keep poking my brain and my feelings and saying, "These are cobwebs. There's nothing," and then I can breathe again. Sometimes, that means talking; other times, that means hoisting a nail gun to build a dance floor. After all, we need a place to dance while we celebrate our wedding.

A true story: one of this weekend's projects was to build a set of stone steps around the side of the barn where we're holding our reception. The ground there is literally full of rocks - we had to break it apart with a pick-axe—and the flagstone that had been set aside was fifty meters away, under the front of the barn, piled in a heaped mess of craggy corners and spiders. And yet: my brother, running on three hours of sleep and a whole complement of his own personal anxieties, built the top step. And yet: my aunt and I carried the flagstone around the barn and laid it out on the grass. And yet: my uncle puzzled out the rise and run of the staircase. And yet: I followed my brother's template to build three more stairs. And yet: my friend and I shoveled gravel to fill in the crevasses. And yet: my dad built the final three steps. And then: it was done.

This wedding, this process of joining M and I together, is happening in the context of a group of people who want to see us do well. Nothing we do is in a vacuum. He and I keep turning to each other to say, "If we can get through this, we can get through anything," and that feels so true. We've already been through more as a couple than most people go through in a decade of marriage: death, mental illness, unemployment, medical mishaps. We're strong.

But, you know, at three AM, with the tiki torches looming, I can forget that.

So this is yet another gratitude post: a thank you to the people who are rallying around us in the final weeks of preparation. They keep reminding us, by showing up and working hard, that we're worth all this work. They hold us up when we get bogged down, and their help gives us the space to breath together as a couple. This is the whirlwind, a pile of chaos and tantrums and sleepless night (and so many emails). But this is also dancing. The dancing keeps us sane.

Image of Sliding House via Material Strategies.