Monday, June 3, 2013

The Laughing Zombie

Luc and Jeanine, about to take their vows.

I don't enjoy traveling. I dislike living out of a suitcase, sleeping in unfamiliar environments, in unfamiliar beds. Except for travel by train or boat, I'm disenchanted and exhausted by every form of transportation.

Don't even get me started about cars and highways - yuck.

I could get into an even bigger rant about travel by airplane. The only benefit to that is that it's fast. Otherwise, the experience sucks.

Once I reach my destination, even if it's in the same time zone, I suffer from jet lag. I am completely disoriented. To get from Point A to Point B I must rely, at ever 5 or 6 steps, on google maps. I think my body drops into a minor state of shock when I travel. I feel nothing. I can't tell if I'm hungry, or alternately, my stomach hurts. I don't sleep and I can't feel much of anything. I drink lots of coffee that has no effect. No matter what I eat, it does not agree with me. I can't taste or smell. I might as well be on the International Space Station - except I feel the pull of gravity. Oh yeah.

Once upon a time, one of my cohorts named me a priestess of place. It is so true. When uprooted from my familiar setting, I'm off kilter. Such was the case in Indianapolis over the weekend. I'm not sure any combination of Bach and ironing could have brought me back into balance.

I decided to go with it, not feel ashamed of being discombobulated, and carry on in spite of it all.

I was there with a friend I've known a long time, someone who makes me laugh my ass off. This really helped. As long as I was going to be a zombie, why not a laughing zombie? Well, why not?

In spite of my prevailing bewilderment, the weekend was really great. Hanging out with my friend is always a good thing. She moved away from the DC area last year so our paths haven't crossed. I love her. Hanging out was wonderful.

Also wonderful: the wedding. Jeanine and Luc assembled more than the wedding party for the rehearsal dinner. In addition to the bridesmaids, groomsmen and family, they invited a bunch of those near and dear to them. They created an ad hoc community that, by the end of Friday's dinner, generated its own energy field. Those of us who bonded at the rehearsal dinner carried the soul of that lovely experience to the wedding the next day. I don't know if they did it on purpose or not - but it worked.

There were many more people in attendance at the wedding and reception than at the rehearsal dinner, yet the tapestry of connection we wove at the dinner acted as a central pillar of energy for the wedding - which was absolutely great. If you have any doubt that the wedding was fabulous, gaze at the pictures above. C'mon. It was perfection. Someone read a Walt Whitman poem. We prayed at the end of the ceremony for people who are ill or poor or suffering. In offering that prayer we generously shared the beautiful energy of the wedding. Fabulous. And you should have heard the toasts at the reception! They were personal and yet included everyone listening. We came to know the bride and groom much better, we fell in love with Jeanine and Luc by listening to the toasts. I am honored to have been a part of the celebration.

Just as I was figuring out which way was which, it was time to come home. Even coming back to a familiar landscape throws me a little. Last night dear friends made dinner for me - so wonderful. I couldn't taste a thing. But we had fun, we laughed, feasted. Even as a travel zombie, I can have a good time.

Life is so sweet, and I believe in love. I am grateful. Shalom.

From the Indianapolis Art Museum


Steve Reed said...

Traveling is always an off-kiltering (?) experience. Some people really thrive on that, and others dislike it. I loved it when I was young but find it harder as I get older.

The wedding looks beautiful. What a ceiling in that church!

Maybe the lesson from your trip is just that Indianapolis is not the place for you. :)

ellen abbott said...

at this point in my life, I don't like to travel either and there is a workshop in NY that I want to attend this August. I'm not sure which one will win out, my desire to go or my desire to not travel.

Pam said...

Beautiful photos.
Rehearsal dinners seem to be a bit of an American tradition - I see it in movies and read it in books. We don't have in here in Australia much - but it would certainly help people mingle and add to the occasion.

Pam said...

Beautiful photos.
Rehearsal dinners seem to be a bit of an American tradition - I see it in movies and read it in books. We don't have in here in Australia much - but it would certainly help people mingle and add to the occasion.

Janelle said...

ah LOVED this post...i also hate travelling but love it when i get there. detest airports and planes...oooergh....the church looks astoundingly beautiful.lovely. thanks for sharing. x janelle