Essay

Pronouncements of Marriage and Kindness

I’m never going to be asked to be Best Man. My chances of that were ruined 3 years ago today. Among my circle of close friends, the first among them to tie the knot got married on this day three years ago, and they asked me to officiate the wedding.

It was a tremendous honor, and if I’m being honest it’s a lot easier than being Best Man because there’s no requirement to be funny, and I’m allowed to prepare a written speech I can read from through the ceremony. Since then, two other pairs of friends have asked me to perform their ceremonies for them. If I’m close enough to be considered for the wedding party, it seems, I’ll be at the altar, otherwise I’ll be in the audience.

I maintain this blog, this pastime of writing because I believe deeply in the power of words. They shape our world, they inform our identities and how we relate with and to one another our interpretations of both the tangible as well as the ephemeral. I already have a tremendous respect for the power of words written and spoken, but to have been asked to use my words to mark such important occasions, to say the words that start the clock on the moment that married life begins for some of my best friends- what powerful words those are.

I’ve written and self-published three novels since I pronounced my first pair of friends married all those years ago. They now have a daughter. Others I’ve married since then have their own plans and timelines for also having their own children. I played a small and momentary role in these journeys, but it’s been incredible seeing the things my own words began. It has been an honor to have been trusted thrice now with the magnitude of marking such an occasion.

Maybe you are not marrying anyone, but trust that words have a depth of power and potential if you direct them and contextualize them with love and care. It’s the simplest kindness we have such easy access to, but I encourage myself and anyone reading this as well that if you can commit an act of kindness any and every day: reach out and tell someone the good things you believe, see, and wish for them. It’s not pronouncing them married, but it’s still the start of a new clock for whatever kind of day they may have been having.

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