So I went to a wedding this past weekend. It was a friend of Steph’s, a fellow designer that has peppered her work past and looked to her as a mentor of sorts. The bride was young, 25ish, meaning the guests, minus the family, were approximately the same age as her. Me, being a robust 43 years old, and my wife, who is way younger than me at a dainty 40, are now attending weddings and slotted in the same age bracket as the uncles and aunts or older cousins or, imagine that, current or former co-workers.
Now I like weddings, I am a sucker for sentiment and it is difficult to find warmer rooms during the toasts, speeches, first dances and the other traditional moments that leave me with something in my eye. There is also usually free booze and while this particular wedding stuck with just beer and wine (which is fine, I get it, it’s a cost saver and being a fairly religious crowd, the desire for alcohol was pretty limited) it was still free and still cold.
Now I dropped this little nugget of info–the religious part–as a deliberate segue into my next observation. I am not a pious man. I was raised without religious influence and very rarely went to church. That being said, and unlike my ranting father, I do not hold religion accountable for all the world’s perils and mistakes. I think if people want to blindly believe in something or someone, go ahead. I am almost envious they can place so much stock in something inherently intangible. Another reason I don’t mind it is the deep rooted values of religion, the goodness, the honesty, the integrity, the do onto others mantra that some religions are rooted in. This particular group was Christian based, the couple met through their church and the ceremony was held at this tiny church in downtown Toronto. The ceremony itself was brief, surprising considering the canonical participants, but so filled with love. Love for each other, love for their family and friends, love for God, love for the community that it was difficult not to get caught up in the beauty of it all. I gripped Steph’s hand throughout.
My friends are not religious. We mostly are a pretty cynical bunch with razor sharp senses of humour and an unhealthy appreciation for material things. We love each other, love our kids, but are pretty insular and self involved. We occasionally talk a good game and sometimes try to make a difference, but for the most part, we drink wine, we tell bawdy stories and grunt out the days waiting for the calendar circles to arrive. Hoping the days we look forward to outnumber the days we dread.
Something is brewing in this often confused soul of mine. Not unlike the strong winds currently ripping across this continent, my own personal winds of change are blowing. This wedding was not a moment of epiphany, nor was the previously attended conference. But things are piling up in this cranium of mine, a sense of longing for something more, to get off this plateau of banality, to start lighting fires for my sons to bask in, take comfort in, to feel the god damn glow.
Oh and just in case you were wondering, I am Jason Graham. Number 139. Stay tuned.