Those absurdly beautiful moments…

As I walked down the little country path with my arm through my father’s, the lace hem of my wedding dress was gathered in my other hand as not to pick up too much dirt along the way, the sun glittered through the trees. Time stood perfectly still for just a moment, my entire life suspended in two parts, one married and one not. My closest friends and sisters smiled back at me, their bohemian tresses moving in the wind. We giggled as we walked, careful of the uneven ground in satin heels, giddy over what was happening, my dad’s tight squeeze of my arm.

I wanted to walk just a little slower, to savor those moments before my dad gave me away, but also a little faster to see Alex’s face when he first saw me, his bride in the dress I carefully hid for months. I floated, euphoric, tethered to the ground only by the twinges of melancholy that come with the arrival of life’s most anticipated milestones. I was my father’s little girl and my soon-to-be husband’s wife. Everything at once. Tears and smiles, past and future, present.

Last night as I remembered the peace I find in my wedding day, this memory surfaced to the top. For months afterward, I would sit in my cube and look at the pictures, reliving those intense feelings, the happiness they brought even on the most stressful day of work. Weddings may only span a few sweet hours, but the memories are lasting magic.

Photo credit: H. Starkey

With my dad on our unexpected hike to the ceremony site. Photo credit: H. Starkey

Photo credit: E. Heizer

My beloved friends and sisters as we waited to walk across the bridge. Photo credit: E. Heizer

What are your most absurdly beautiful moments? Do you escape inside them, like I do?

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22 thoughts on “Those absurdly beautiful moments…

  1. kingmidget says:

    You’ll have to read Weed Therapy. Oh, never mind. My wedding day was the absolute best day of my life. I’ve never had more fun than I had that day, at my own wedding. I’m not much of a dancer, but I danced that night. I laughed with friends and just had an absolute blast. Tequila shots before we walked into the reception. Champagne. An absolutely beautiful Saturday night setting with candles on the tables and … well, it was just fun and perfect. There’s a song by Marc Cohn called True Companion — I thought I had found mine and that day was only the beginning. It’s pretty incredible how one can feel on a day like that. Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then and it’s a memory that didn’t come to pass. Where are my beautiful moments now … memories, only memories. And, those quiet moments and hours I find where I can practice my yoga — not yoga itself, but my peace and my solitude. Mendocino is one of those events that will create one of those moments. Much like my trip to Caples Lake last year.
    There’s this unfortunate dynamic I have and I wish I could figure out how to rid myself of it. So many of my beautiful memories are wrapped up in the events that have followed. Like I said in my comment last night. It’s only yesterday I held my oldest in my arms as a newborn, now I can’t wait until he leaves.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      That’s so funny. Dancing was strangely amazing at our wedding too– something about being surrounded by everyone you know and getting to pick the music 😉 Your statement “So many beautiful memories are wrapped up in the events that have followed,” is powerful. One of those so much life statements. I hope Mendocino is everything you want it to be.

      • kingmidget says:

        I just realized that “so many beautiful memories are wrapped up in the events that have followed” belongs in the novel I’m working on. Yippee!! It’s a great launching point for a dialogue that has to happen in the final chapter.

      • oliviaobryon says:

        Love when that happens! 😀

      • kingmidget says:

        Yes. I refer to it as an epiphany. This story, The Irrepairable Past, is probably the most challenging story I’ve ever written. But, I also think it could be just incredible. Which is, of course, why the fear of failure is holding me back. Every once in awhile, I have one of those epiphanies that moves me a little bit further along.

      • oliviaobryon says:

        Such an interesting thought– the most incredible stories being the most difficult to write. Glad you got your next jolt of inspiration 😀

      • kingmidget says:

        It’s weird. The more I write, the more terrified I get at what I’m trying to do. With Bridgeport, it was easy. Just a simple story. Boy meets girl. Sex occurs. Rape allegation follows. And then there’s a trial. Harmless fluff. Nothing more than a beach read. The things I’m writing now, though. There’s a message (which I hate — I actually want to go back to writing stories just to write stories) … or something like a message. The novels I have in progress are deeper stories. More meaningful. More than just a book to read on the beach. There’s a thing there with each of them that goes beyond what I set out to do with Bridgeport. Ugh. I’ve gotta get past that.

      • oliviaobryon says:

        I think I get it, even though I’m farther behind than you are in the whole process of writing multiple books. Expecting Happiness is a story. I wrote it with a beach read in mind– what would I want to read on vacation? Yes, there is a bit of a message, but mostly it’s just a simple story. All my second attempts at writing have been more complex, leaving me second guessing myself and stalling. I think I just need to get Expecting Happiness off my plate so I can fully focus on something else and hopefully take with me the message that we have to just write instead of worrying it won’t be amazing enough. Here’s to your new self-publishing idea– may it be the push I need to put myself out there, simple or not.

      • kingmidget says:

        What you’re experiencing with Expecting Happiness and your reluctance to move on from it is one of the nuts I wish I could crack. Don’t know how to do it, except for this. Trust yourself. Trust the story you told. Let it go, put it out there, and move on to the next story that’s in you. That said, if you’re “locked” into the idea of hoping for a traditional publishing route, I can’t argue with that — the reality is, as I pursue this whole self-publishing angle, that’s what we all want. An agent, a contract, an advance, the might of a publisher behind this work we’ve taken from its first baby steps to a finished product. I totally get that. But … you can move forward with that, while also moving on to Story #2. When exactly is it that we’re getting together to talk about this whole writing thing … and for me to talk with you and Alex about that other thing? Maybe when the school year is over? Just let me know.

      • oliviaobryon says:

        No, I actually am not attached to traditional publishing, just the validation that comes with it. This summer is my last read-through as it stands, then some more final readers, then… I have to put it out there so I can move on. Have to. I’m good to meet whenever. Email me when you’re ready.

      • kingmidget says:

        You’re exactly right … it’s the validation of that publishing contract that means something.

  2. What fantastic memories you have of your wedding day! My day makes me smile, too..

  3. thetravelingsauls says:

    Thank you for sharing that memory! How lovely!

    Meeting each of my children for the first time are my most treasured memories. The feeling of recognition, like we were being reunited, was so strong and emotional. I can remember how it felt with each of them clearer than any other memories I have.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      I can only imagine, Chloe! I love your choice of words, the idea of being reunited with someone you’ve only just met (at least this time around) is beyond beautiful. 😀

  4. I love what you also wrote on Facebook about how through writing you get to relive memories. It is so true and something I love yet didn’t even realize until you worded it so profoundly. Reading this post was like I was there. So sweet. Thanks for taking us back.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      It’s so true! I don’t think I realized it until tonight, either. Writing allows you to live inside memories in a way that nothing else does, (especially since you can go back and revisit again and again). Glad it resonated. 🙂

  5. Jason says:

    I love this. so well put. A real highlight of my day. Thank you for so eloquently sharing.

  6. Taryn says:

    Beautiful post! I don’t have one specific memory like this, but I definitely get wrapped up in memories when something reminds me of them. The last two or three weeks, I’ve been super nostalgic about the end of college (4 years ago) and have found myself spending a little too much time in my memories. I’m totally okay with that for the most part though 🙂

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Yes, college memories are easy to lose yourself in! Whenever we go to dinner in my college town, I feel so time-warped walking down the streets. It’s an interesting distinction between longing for old memories and just living in them. Sometimes I long for college days, but I have yet to long for my wedding day… I never thought about this difference, thanks for making me think! 🙂

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