Down to the very gates of death

The rumors are true. I’m married. Or as Chris Massey would say, I’m getting married.

A while back we decided to get married. But wedding planning was getting out of control, and something intimate and true was called for. So one morning we got gussied up and went down to the courthouse and boom! like that we were married. Just the two of us and a witness.

Don’t worry, family: our recent elopement does not preclude a ceremony that might be somewhat larger. For now, we’re enjoying each other.

Chris Massey (himself married 30 some odd years) reminds me that you don’t get married; you are getting married. it’s an active verb; it does not pass into the past tense. Every day you get up and you are getting married.

I am reminded of a Robert Louis Stevenson toast – a toast I’m offering now to my wife: Here is to you and me, that we may be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, moderate in all changes of fortune, and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving to one another.

love, nicco

p.s. photos of civil wedding here, photos of the lovely couple here.

9 Responses to “Down to the very gates of death”

  1. Terrance Says:

    Chris Massey (himself married 30 some odd years) reminds me that you don’t get married; you are getting married. it’s an active verb; it does not pass into the past tense. Every day you get up and you are getting married.

    Truer, wiser words have rarely been spoken. It is truly a choice, a commitment, that you make and renew every day.

    Congratulations! And I’ll add my own words to what Chris offered. I’ve said this as a toast at many wedding receptions, but I always find it bears repeating. Many people will tell you that your wedding day should be the happiest day of your life. But I won’t. What I wish for you, though, is that every day after your wedding day is in some way happier than the day before. That doesn’t mean they will all be good days. But even on the worst days, may you find your love for and commitment to one another deepened and strengthened by both the best and worst of times.

    And, BTW, I think it was a wise choice to make the quick trip to the courthouse. Sometimes in the middle of all the wedding planning, floral arrangements, and negotiations with caterers and photographers it’s easy to forget that in the end it’s not the wedding that matters. It’s the marriage that you commit to every day thereafter.

    May the two of you laugh and love together for a lifetime.

  2. kelly Says:

    Hi Nicco,

    I wanted to send you a marriage poem and thought first, of course, of Ogden Nash “On Marriage,” but that didn’t seem quite right, so here is Kate Clanchy’s “Patagonia.”

    Wonderful news! Congratulations! Love, Kelly

    I said perhaps Patagonia, and pictured
    a peninsula, wide enough
    for a couple of ladderback chairs
    to wobble on at high tide. I thought
    of us in breathless cold, facing
    a horizon round as a coin, looped
    in a cat’s cradle strung by gulls
    from sea to sun. I planned to wait
    till the waves had bored themselves
    to sleep, till the last clinging barnacles,
    growing worried in the hush, had
    paddled off in tiny coracles, till
    those restless birds, your actor’s hands,
    had dropped slack into your lap,
    until you’d turned, at last, to me.
    When I spoke of Patagonia, I meant
    skies all empty aching blue. I meant
    years. I meant all of them with you.

  3. Anne Says:

    Wow. That Clanchy poem is gorgeous. Great choice, Kelly!

  4. Anne Says:

    On Chris’ point — the antithesis of his point was made by a friend of mine — who similarly had a courthouse marriage with the man she’d been living with for a year (followed a month or two later by a fabulous 50th birthday bash/wedding celebration) — June (if I haven’t ever told you about June, she is every bit Chris’ equal…!) said, “The only people who should get married are the people who are already married.”

    Along Chris’ line, though, I once had an inspired converation with a romantic interest about wedding rings — we speculated that it might be cool to replace wedding rings every two years or so, to reinforce the idea that the marriage is constantly changing and updating itself to fit the hands and styles and life of the people who are in it. We were thinking, wouldn’t it be interesting to have a collection of wedding rings at the end of life, all the styles and ideas and places you’d been as a couple.

    Anyway, I remain thrilled. Morra is a sublime match for you, and I suspect yours will be a masterpiece marriage.

  5. acohen Says:

    Congratulations, Nicco! I wish you and Morra many years of health and happiness together. -Andrew

  6. senseless Says:

    Congratulations and much good future.

  7. josh_sandoz Says:

    Holy WOW you two! CONGRADULATIONS!!! Amazing and good things to you both! My goodness, you are beautiful people. May your marriage, in all its growth, continuing, and evolution, be like a poem incarnate. Heck, make in an anthology. Tonight, I drink to you!

  8. sdickert Says:

    All I can say is that the two of you look lovely. Granted, been a little distracted myself – but someone was searching my blog for Morra and marriage – and I just learned.

    All I can say is that you both look incredibly beautiful – and that I wish for the both of you all the happiness in the world.

    And, some thoughts for the future:

    “Relationship is a high-wire act. To the left is the irretrievable past — your personal history, your previous relationships, your triumphs and your grief, the momentum which mechanically seeks to repeat itself, your helplessness. To the right is the uncontrollable future — your expectations and fears, a thousand desires yet unfulfilled, fading dreams, your hopelessness.

    That is perhaps why Buddhist practices are called the Middle Way: a balancing of the heart and mind to enable unimpeded forward movement. Lean too far to the left and we become lost in guilt, anger, fear, self-protection, and cleverness. Lean too far to the right and we disappear into romantic fantasy, superstition, magic thinking, and a self-punishing sentimentality.

    The tightrope is the present moment, this very instant in which we attempt to maintain some balance between aspects of the underdream. When the balance is perfect, grace and disgrace dissolve equally into unconditioned love.”


    “To love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.”

    Nothing but love to the both of you.


  9. As If It Matters » Blog Archive » It’s officially official. Says:

    […] In August we got engaged; in October we eloped to the courthouse [blog post, photos]; in May we had a fun little wedding party. […]

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