Monday, April 06, 2009

Love Too Big to Fail

Back in snowy, REALLY snowy Ohio after a busy weekend packed with travel and a very special wedding, it's life back to normal. As weird as it is to go from toes in the sand yesterday to toes back in the boots today, I was actually kind of glad to get home and get settled.

There wasn't really much time for reflection but I took a moment where I could here and there. On Saturday morning, the Big Day, my friends skipped off for some shopping while I decided to chill out with a run before a lovely treat from the bride during her pre-nuptial salon experience (I am now the owner of ten beautifully pedicured toes that stood proud and bare in the warm sand during the ceremony but will not likely see the light of day the rest of this month).

We were all ensconced at a beautiful harborside resort on the Gulf. This is not, you might imagine, my usual kind of trip, so I tried to make the most of the rare opportunity for some self-spoiling. I skipped off in one direction and then another, and finally found a little woodsy/swampy nature trail. It was such a treat to be outside and enjoy the fresh warm air, see flowers richly in bloom, watch pelicans swoop in for a catch. It was also a little odd to be in this oasis while the rest of the world goes to hell in a handcart. But that's the whole point of a wedding away from home -- truly, all of us forgot about any troubles we were carrying and had an absolutely joyous time celebrating with the bride and groom all weekend.

Being in this unusual environment in stark contrast to my accompanying music was quite interesting. For my adventure, I chose Tim O'Brien's and Darrell Scott's "Real Time" effort, recorded in a garage over a similar weekend of food, family, and fun. The songs on the album bear the gritty hallmarks of Scott's direct songwriting style along with Tim's humor and fondness for old ballads which lighten it up.

The album also bears one of the duo's most popular, and almost lucrative, songwriting efforts: "More Love," a tune made famous by the Dixie Chicks a few years ago. To me, it's the perfect wedding tribute. Fairy tale romance is nice for a while, but sustaining real human love requires enormous effort, communication, and unwavering commitment in the face of difficulty and sometimes in good times, too, when it's easier to forget to take care of the relationship. My newlywed friends are madly in love but they are also realists. They'll be just fine.

The song also goes well with the enormous love that filled the small but enthusiastic crowd of friends and family the entire weekend. The poignancy of the date (it was my former in-laws' wedding anniversary) and the gravity of missing some important people (my former mother in law, the mother of the bride, passed away just a little over two years to the day, and a few weeks later that same year the bride lost her Grandmother; not to mention that a host of varied and unfortunate circumstances prevented a mess of other very special folks from being there) make it even more important to recognize and celebrate and, frankly, generate more love, enough love, as much love as necessary.

So I send this song out to my travelin' newlywed friends who at some point late this evening while most of us are fast asleep will arrive at their tropical honeymoon destination to rest and restore themselves and begin their lives together. And the song is for all of us, all of us who have love, give love, desire love, model and teach love. If I believe anything, it's that real human love nurtured and tended and given freely to friends, family, and even -- or especially -- people we don't know, can overcome the most ferocious of detractors, the most miserable of situations, the most daunting circumstances, and the most unlikely allies. Here's to a love too big to fail.

More Love
Performed here by Tim O'Brien on "A Tribute to John Hartford: Live from the Mountain Stage" (Blue Plate Music 2004)


At April 06, 2009 10:03 PM, Blogger Shameless Agitator said...



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