I sit outside in rural New Hampshire, wind in my hair and my cheeks freshly shaven. We are packing the car, getting ready to go.
My mother bought me the wardrobe that is lovingly wrapped up in the lower pocket of my frame pack. My Owner ordered that I have and made it possible for me to get the jewelry. My Boy made my boots presentable, compared to the mess they were in from last weekend’s fire pit. Because this afternoon, I am getting married.
There, I said it. It is a strange word in many ways, but it is a good one, one that fits. One that I sit with as my fiancée soon to be spouse holds onto me and kisses me inside my skin.
About 6 months ago I realized I was in love with him, in love with me. I am him, my fiancée, my bride to be, groom of my heart. I am marrying myself. And six months ago, as I screamed and cried in a stairwell outside my doctors office as I was told things that made me feel punched in the gut, as I fell apart between two appointments who did not put my head back together, I realized I was in pain because a man I love was hurting. Bad.
I have spent time around me for over 30 years. Gotten to know this skin, these fears, these tears, these laughs and these moans. I have spent time not as me, and found that, especially in the past 6 years, that I actually do like me as me, whatever this me is. It’s not a perfect person, but it is a perfect whatever it is.
But I did not love me. I have known love, danced with love, held love in my arms, felt love move through my spirit. I can say with an honest heart, I did not love me. I liked me, thought me was pretty neat, enjoyed the things me had to say, would even have considered me a pretty good friend. But I did not love me.
That afternoon after the doctors I realized I loved me. Through and to the core, I hurt because a man I loved hurt, a woman I loved hurt, a creature I loved hurt, a thing I loved hurt. I hurt. Because I loved me, and me was having a really shite time of it.
I have had other friends marry themselves. Some have silver knots or bands, others gold and ruby. It is not a long list, but it is a quality one, of individuals I deeply respect and cherish for who they are and what they have been in my world. This is not an original concept, but neither is marriage. And yet it is fresh, mine, new- because I am doing it.
I ordered my ring, engraved with what my 5 vows will be today, and it sat on my desk for two months because I was unsure, when I proposed, if he would say yes. That was very telling, very profound for me. The realization that I feel torn about my feelings towards myself, that my relationship with myself has a history of discord, mismatch, conflict. Would a person I abused ever love me, want to marry me? This flesh I have torn open, said was not good enough, debased, made to suffer… ever love me in return?
I have not always been so good to me.
So the ring sat there on my computer desk for 2 months, until I went to San Francisco, a ring burning a hole in my pocket. I took us to the Ferry Building, one of the sacred places of my heart, and we shopped, ate chocolates, watched the boats come and go. We walked past the statue of Ghandi and debated if we could be the change we want to see in the world. Then, down at the end of the pier, looking out to Marin and the gate and beyond, I proposed.
We said yes. I said yes.
My original plan had been to have a grand gala wedding. Winter Fire had been the plan, flying in my friend Dylan Richards down to officiate, my friend at WholeDC was going to host a pre-wedding gang bang for me (I was hoping to have it be a trend- before my previous wedding I had one). There was going to be food and spirits and joy and humor and laughter and a grand performance.
And the more I thought about it, the less authentic it became.
My last wedding was to an amazing man named Adam. He is still a friend, and someone I cherish and respect with much of my heart. I still love him. Our lives have just gone such dramatically different directions. I have written before on our divorce, holding hands and laughing after untying our handfasting cords and reading blessings on the hill he proposed to me on. In that House for Summer. That wedding was a grand affair with food and parties and folks flying in from other continents- I had 5 bridesmen and he had 3 groomsladies. There was a live drum and bellydance troupe, Isidora Forrest performed the ceremony, both my parents showed up… being within 1000 ft of each other for the first time since their divorce finalized a decade+ before.
I honor that memory by letting it be what it was, and letting this wedding be what it needs to be.
So in a bit, after I pack into the campsite, I will be gathering candles and a mirror, dressed in the clothing my mother bought for me, wearing jewelry from my Owner (Bear, the Deity I proudly serve), and walk out into the woods.
Because I love me very deeply. Because I can do good by me. Because I deserve me.
But yes, all the folks at Dark Moon Rising will get wedding cake 🙂