Weekend Note:
After the Wedding


Looking out the window yesterday morning, we couldn’t believe our luck — Megan’s luck and Ryan’s luck, particularly, of course, but really everybody’s luck. The sky lowered grey and bleak, taking us from early May to late March. Today is rather worse. If the wedding had  been a day later — or the weather a day earlier!

But the bad weather, in its way, is just as well, since my pleasure receptors are shot. I couldn’t be happier that yesterday was my day to tidy up the apartment: little or no thought required. Meanwhile, recollections of the wedding steep.

I had the impression, all day afterward, that the experience of the wedding party could be made to fill a book, if only one knew how to capture the impressions. The novel that spans a day by filling in all sorts of memories and reflections — Mrs Dalloway, Ulysses — is a almost a commonplace today, but it wouldn’t suit me at all, because I wasn’t thinking of the holding up the experience of the moment to old expectations or musing ironically on how things had turned out differently that expected. I wasn’t thinking about anything. It’s true that Broadway, between City Hall and Battery Park, is littered with “memory sites” for me, but I walked right past the first of them — 120 Broadway, the first office (my father’s) that I ever visited — without any kind of recognition; it wasn’t until we reached Wall Street (Kathleen’s last office) that I realized that we’d passed Dad’s. I looked fondly at my own favorite workplace, at 1 Broadway, but the world of my days with E F Hutton’s Legal Department seemed as bygone as the Spanish Inquisition. I wasn’t thinking back on people I knew then. I was doing something that literature has yet to teach us to recognize. “Living in the present” is the very inadequate best that I can do.

Two days later, I still remember it all very clearly, although the euphoria of enjoying a perfect — but also largely unplanned day (a day, that is, without clear expectations) — has naturally worn off. To mark this change, I’m going to copy the photographs and the Vespers entry for Friday’s Daily Office to a page at Portico, and then work on filling in the details, for a more permanent record. I’m ready to let the blog entry, as it stands now, go. From the moment I stopped fiddling with it on Friday night until sometime this morning, I couldn’t bear to bump it down with a newer entry: it was like a Christmas tree that I wanted to see every time I came onto the site. A Christmas tree blends seasonal wonder of a seven-foot fir, standing inside the house, with personal embellishment, effacing for a time the distinction between “natural” and “artificial.” So I felt it to be as I cropped photographs of an event that had taken place with only the slightest active participation from me, and jotted notes, inserted captions, and edited the worked-up text at its finest grain. My favorite picture, the one at the top of the entry, was the last to be uploaded: it was the angel at the top of the tree. As the pleasures of the great day passed into memory, they gave way to the pleasures of blogging.

Which came to include, in my good fortune, the bouquet of comments with which readers graced the entry. My thanks to all!  

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