Tag Archives: Wedding

Dancing with Speeches #35 Pachebel

This week’s speech dances with a classical piece of music. Instead of words, the speech was Pachebel’s Canon in D. The occasion was the 3880th registration of a marriage by the civil servant officiating. Witnesses attended in real life and via a range of digital devices and platforms.

There was a celebratory toast sans speeches to the bride and groom. From the 17th Century Pachebel’s Canon in D Major was written to match the beat of the human heart – could there be a more perfect choice for two lives being joined in a common journey?

Playing this canon at 60 beats per minute, the speed of a sleeping person’s heartbeat brings the dreaminess of incomprehensible love, where no words are adequate and only a toast by witnesses will align the external joy with the inner peace of the happy couple. The polyphonic of voices playing the same music together and in sequence is the pattern of a canon, and so it is with marriage, a sequence of familiar steps taken together, with the provision for independence with the depth of sound to carry and hold. A subtle, delicate progression may continue on regular rotation, as so much of life is routine, but is not unchanging.

The music blesses.

May you always find peace and solitude and rest for your selves as individuals and as a couple.

May you find the heart beating in regular time when there is nothing else regular around you and turmoil, disappointment or despair come to haunt.

May you build on the foundations of D major, the key of triumph, of Hallejuahs and war cries, marches, holiday songs, and heavenly rejoicing angelic choruses.

May this soundtrack offer constancy and fidelity to your shared dreams.

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Lingering

Sitting in front of a beautiful painting, or adoring a sunset or holding a new born babe as they fall asleep in your arms – all wonderful moments that urge you to linger.  Not wanting to leave is a fundamental ingredient to lingering, a savouring of the moment. Procrastination or putting off the inevitable to take the next step in a journey or a decision may show reluctance to face the inevitable, but maybe lingering is more like being a sponge to squeeze everything out of the moment that is possible.

In a conversation this past week, a friend told me her mother was lingering, in no hurry to leave this life and her palliative carers. Palliative care is all about relieving but not curing and so lingering is similar; knowing that there is an inevitable next step after relishing and drinking in the moment that you don’t want to leave.

I have been noticing when I linger and when I leave prematurely, and the differences between the two. Leaving early and staying later maybe two sides of the one coin – finding the right balance is a Goldilocks ‘just right’ experience. When we linger it is often others who notice we aren’t leaving, and a mid-wife appears to birth a next step or guide us on our way out of a comfort zone we may not want to leave (or ushers us gently). I  have often held the view that midwives and palliative care nurses have a lot in common but my own preference is to be more like a midwife coaching new ideas into life, than a palliative care nurse who might be smoothing the pillow to make death easier.  (Certainly in my relationship with the church Hildegard, I have made it clear that I am in the midwifery business, actively and consciously paying attention to foster new models and new life and not to hold a dying institution’s hand as it decays.)

As the calendar year comes to an end, I am savouring all the gifts received during the year and the invitations I received.  I have been faithful to writing to you and poetry. I have had many wonderful opportunities to extend my reach on line (curating a couple of #rocur accounts, initiating and advancing social media for community based organisations in particular), presenting a TEDx talk, having a little essay published on my favourite website, building new friendships and watching those I love take big leaps in their personal and professional lives, spending hours holding hands on a red couch with my one true love, watching the honey eaters on the grevilleas in the garden as well a precious trip to Italy and Ireland … and the list goes on … I am blessed and grateful for the gifts of 2013 and I will linger in it a little longer before 2014 begins.

There are many ‘just right’ moments I could linger on this year and here is one that brought a little of heaven to earth when love was in the air!

Transit of Venus

Forecasted by astronomers and prophets
(those faithful custodians of the future).
Arranged by the UniVerse,
Guided by planets and stars,
The promise of arrival is fulfilled.

She arrives.

Arrayed in crystals and petals,
Radiant.
Casting a shadow long and slender
Onto the gasping assembly.
Her beauty takes their breath away.
She moves us
Through all the elements;
Air,
Fire,
Water.

The leaves shake in counterpoint timing.
Warbling magpies gather in communion.
All of creation consents.

The salted beads slide down our faces.
The candle, encased by ancestral love
Flickers;
Lovingly reminding us,
Angels too witness this celestial sight.

She glides into place.
The jigsaw now complete.

A new day dawns.
And Venus transits into her next orbit.

(c) Moira Deslandes, November 2013

Clare's Wedding Day

Clare’s Wedding Day

Blessings between Saturdays

In between the Saturdays of the wedding rehearsal and the wedding, I went down to the place, between the trees, where we walked to mark the path to enter the sacred space. I sat at the picnic table and ate a pie from the local bakery. I was joined by three magpies. Two were fairly young and the third was standing at a distance from the younger ones. One of the younger ones was full of courage, bounded up and literally stood a few centimetres from my hand on top of the table, the other sang sweetly at my feet, while the third one looked on. I couldn’t shoo them away, they refused to budge. So I asked them what they were doing there … And they asked me the same.

I had gone there, to be in the space, alone, to prepare for the next Saturday.  On that day I won’t be there alone.  I will be in the company of family and friends  – all witnesses to the marriage of our youngest daughter. I wanted to see what was on the horizon, in the foreground, what the backdrop looked like and to ask the landscape to talk to me. The stringy bark gums shedding layers, the gentle sound of the brook rippling, the wind fondling the leaves of the old redgum were supported by a lively orchestra of parrots, honey eaters and … magpies.

My Dad was a maggie through and through (a Port Adelaide supporter) so I mused that the older bird watching on was his totem come to let me know he was witness too. The three magpies – a feathered trinity. It was emotional.

This place is a sacred meeting place for generations for the Kaurna people and I wonder what the elders would tell me about the magpies visiting the  mother of the bride on a day between the Saturdays? Perhaps they were affirming my action to take the moment, and holding me there so I would enter into it? Perhaps they were heralding me onwards and reminding me that between Saturdays it is right to stop and soak it in? One thing I was confident of, I was being blessed and loved and honoured and the Universe had sung my Dad to me and is with us, with me.

When I think back to the “between the Saturdays” of my wedding, I remember being by the water tank at the back of my family home learning the lines of my vows so that I could confidently recite them and not repeat the words from the priest. I remember wanting to be able to know them “off by heart” because they were going to last me a lifetime. I did learn them and I do recite them to myself from time to time when I need of remind myself. I have found that at different times in my life one line has been more salient than another – for richer or for poorer ; in sickness and in health. I was always a bit confused that richer comes before poorer and sickness before health. I am definitely richer than ever and sickness is more at our door than ever but they now come together in a way that makes perfect sense to me now.  My father walked me down the aisle of John XXIII as the sun set on a hot Saturday evening in February. Our daughter will walk between her Mum and Dad, along a path strewn with leaves as the afternoon sun reaches its height in a park at the back of a colonial courthouse where for thousands of years people have gathered as families to share stories and food and delight in the spring that never dries up. it was in this place she joined a croning ritual for my 50th birthday. It is a place I go to for making decisions, for respite and just to be. This place will bless those who gather and in turn we will bless the space between us as John O’Donohue has described ” in the parched deserts of post modernity a blessing can be like the discovery of a fresh well … When a blessing is invoked, it changes the atmosphere. .. It is ironic that so often we live me paupers though our inheritance of spirit is so vast” (xv To Bless the Space Between  Us).

This same week, between the Saturdays, a young friend bought back from his travels Br David Steindl-Rast’s new book 99 Blessings. My young friend had met Br David in Edinburgh at TED Global. They connected and his book travelled half the world with an inscription and blessing to us. The lightness of the book seemed to be a feather in the breath of God itself, being blown to me on the wings of airlines and in the care of the next generation … I am so blessed and so grateful! What a delicious filling in between these Saturdays!

I am being drenched by love. I come to Saturday confident that a community of creatures, indeed the whole universe, is intent on bestowing blessings that bring union to time and space, the visible and invisible, past and future.

On Saturday, at the wedding, I am going to read  John’s blessing for a marriage, and having sat on his land in Ireland earlier in the year, adding my voice to singing the Beatitudes as a storm began to roll in, truly I know the maggies are with me.  Never before has “when two or three gather in My name” rung as true as it does for me this week, between the Saturdays.

I come to this Saturday knowing that it is in the in-between spaces that revelations unfold and blessings abound.

Courthouse Gardens, Willunga