November 23, 2005 § 13 Comments
I meant to bring this up much earlier, but shortly after we got back life snuck up behind me, clubbed me over the head, and dragged me off to the city of Responsibility. I was there for several weeks, forced to stare at calendars and lists and perform only those tasks that appeared upon them. I got out early for good behavior, but I’m still under a probation of sorts. I’ll have to go back a few times in the next weeks to check in.
Anyway, Karen and I went to a wedding. Chad and Jeryl were both good friends of ours at IWU and we were asked to be a part of the wedding party. So, we trekked back to Indiana to celebrate their union. It was a good thing.
We visited with family and friends and by and large wore ourselves out. But I had forgotten what it is like to be surrounded by old friends. The predictable rhythms of conversation. The unguarded nature of ideas and words. The ease of laughter. These are things I had forgotten in the transient world in which Karen and I have been living.
We also returned to the Midwest at peak color. The landscape was vibrant, alive, fresh, painted with fall’s palette. We didn’t take a moment for granted.
The wedding was great. It was a reunion of sorts. Embraces, exclamations, laughter…cheer rang throughout every corner of every room. Love reverberated, bounding, rebounding, filling each room with glowing smiles, like the warm, comforting light of flickering candles.
Then I saw the photos. I was emailed a link to the website of the photographer, Tec Petaja, where I was able to see a selection of photographs from the event. The pictures are fantastic, but as I looked through them I noticed that in nearly every photo I seemed to stick out like a sore thumb, always creating a black hole of attention that forced me to look at myself. Mind you, I was not the groom, nor the best man.
Now, at first I assumed this was vanity. Surely, my narcissistic nature just drew my eye their automatically. I chastised myself for being so egotistical.
But then my wife saw the photos. Her first comment was something along the lines of, “My eye went straight to you. In every photo you’re doing something completely different than everyone else.” Now, I’d like to think that is just because her eye is naturally drawn to me as well, but I won’t flatter myself.
In actuality, I think I was “that guy.” I’m not okay with this. This event was not about me, and I’m afraid I made it about me. For instance, here’s a photo.
If I were to have the opportunity to hang this photo in a gallery, I think I would title it: “Donkey.” Or maybe “Too Bad It Wasn’t Lost In The Mail.” Or perhaps “The Donkey Show.” Any of those would be appropriate.
I am sorry if, by chance, I was actually as obnoxious as I appear. I say this without even a hint of sarcasm, which some may find difficult to believe, but I hope I didn’t do anything to take away from that day. If I did, then I am truly sorry.