Marital Bliss

Sickening ... aint it!

May 17, 1997, is a date sure to go down in history--the innauguration of this truly loving, caring, and trusting yet fun and adventurous relationship. Exactly two years (well almost ... it was the 18th) from the day we met at the Gold Cane in the Haight, we will be joined by friends and family at Clint Eastwood's very own Mission Ranch in beautiful Carmel by the Sea. Exchanging heart-felt vows in a not-so-traditional ceremony we wrote ourselves, we take our first steps together on this 60+ year journey together.

One might call me lucky to have found a girl that didn't want a diamond wedding ring. (We are both actually very lucky.) But, can you really picture Rene wrenching on her bike, or diggin' in the dirt with a rock on her hand? Besides, these bands have much deeper meaning than just two months' salary. We picked them out at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, and I actually purchased them here on the web from Da'oud Thompson. The design is a Tibetan dancing knot which,in short*, represents commitment in balance with individuality.

*The Long Version: The design symbolizes the maintenance of individuality in a relationship. The mandala is the dance of two who help each other to grow by being there to reflect as a mirror, the cords left free symbolize that individuality is not lost but enhanced by this union. The Knot is dancing in that it is fluid, not constricting but organic, alive and in motion, in tune with the forces of life, adaptable to new circumstances.

Anyway, if you find this boring, ask Rene someday about her $12 silver & turquoise engagement ring I bought at the Fred Harvey shop in Death Valley along with a six pack of Tall Boy Buds, after she left her bike on killing the battery. Oy, was that a 4th of July to remember. But hey, I figured if we could make it through that without killing each other, we could make it through anything. Have you ever tried push starting a motorcycle when its 124 degrees in the shade, while your girlfriend keep crying, "Just try it once more!"

But I digress, a couple thousand miles later (After I had asked her father for her hand in marriage at the Grand Canyon), at dusk one day, in the middle of CoHab Canyon (Capitol Reef National Monument, Utah) I gave Rene the Fred Harvey ring and a card I'd been carrying the whole trip. She just smiled that big beautiful smile of hers, laughed, then cried. Meanwhile, I was still waiting for an answer. She said, "You haven't asked me."

So I got down on my knee and proposed. Lightning struck, it started to sprinkle, then stopped, and the rest is history. I guess it was a sign that this match was indeed made in heaven. By the way, if your wondering who Fred Harvey is, he runs all the cheesey National Park gift shops where you can buy thimbles, spoons, sweatshirts, ashtrays, and in our case ... engagement rings.

At left is a picture of Rene at the very moment I proposed. You see, I had it all planned out the whole trip. I was going to set up the camera, give her the card and catch that perfect smile on film. (As you can see, it worked.) I was just waiting for the perfect place. And this natural rock altar was definitely it! In the middle of nowhere like this (see picture above.) she just had to say yes. All the anticipation, however, made me sick. I'm not ashamed to tell you that I was so nervous waiting for the perfect moment that I couldn't sleep and almost just proposed to her in the tent. I almost cracked when she started making jokes about how she would never buy anything from "Fred Harvey" again ... I forget why. If only she new ...

So ... this is our view from the patio at Mission Ranch as we exchange rings and so much more on our blessed day. Don't blink or you may miss the ceremony--no high mass here. Our focus is on the reception (AKA: Party of the Century) to be held in the barn right behind us. Rev. Pat will have the pleasure of marrying us. Don't tell anyone, but rumor has it he's a she. Yes, just watch for the look on my mother's face. It was bad enough when she found out we weren't using a priest. The short but sweet ceremony begins with Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here on guitar and mandolin as I walk up with my boys, Randy, Brian and Ari. Then Ave Maria (for Rene's mother) as Rene walks up with her girlfriends and father. Then the fun begins as we accept offerings ... Randy will give us coins (See table below.) representing prosperity so that we may never be poor. Brian will give us grain so that we may never go hungry. And Ari will give us wine--something to do with unity, sharing, or fruit of the vine. I forget ... I just want to break the glass! A couple "I Do's" and a "We Do" later, and it's party time, as man and wife. Or, is it woman and groom?

We also had these symbolic silver coins made at the Ren. Fair ... another long story, if you care to get into how Rene thought we should just get the bronze ones, or how after "all that" they made neckalces instead of coins and had to redo them.
QuetzalCoatl (The Feathured Serpent)
The Eagle who ruled Heaven opposed the Serpent, who represented the life sustaining waters. They resolved the conflict by becoming the Bird (Quetzal) Snake (Coatl), One god of Earth and Sky.
The Triskellion
The thrice repeated use of the double spiral shows trinity of mind, body and spirit.
Love Magic
An example of runic magic made up of a combination of classic runes, designed to create change. (Nordic)
Elemental Spiral
All of the elements are seen in the spiral, with the triangle of mind, body, and spirit at the center of it all.
(Peublo/San Ildefonso)

Special Thanks
This story would not be complete without mentioning a few names. Griff helped get me the Job at FWB in San Francisco--finally making my move from Sacramento possible. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted and replaced by Kris Krall (aka "Spoonie"). But all of the credit should go to Spoonie himself, for he is the one that set us up. It's a rather complicated story--that I am not going to get into--as to why he wanted me to start dating Rene. But let's just say "Thank You." for all of this is his fault. (Pictured at Right: Spoonie in his Tech Support days.)

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