"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Words of wisdom to stegdaughter and groom wedding

It was my pleasure, and honor, to officiate at the wedding of Alexx Amy Reger and Jake Alan Harms today. Both of their fathers are dead.  I am more than pleased to be asked to officiate.
Included is a video of Alexx dancing after the ceremony. Her mother, my wife  Susan Reger Henry Clark,  has worked and stressed herself in the past months to make this happen.
This was scheduled at Will Rogers Park in OKC, first with threat of high temps, and then with rain and storms. It worked.
More photos later perhaps. But here is the text of my message to them and their families:
"    ⁃    Alexx and Jake, Jake and Alexx--hold hands
    ⁃    Your family is here --grandparents, mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins, families and friends are here--a testimony to your love and life together. Turn and look
    ⁃    Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by  such a great cloud of witnesses, let us shed anything that hinders us, and let us begin our journey"--That's a liberal Clark translation
    ⁃    These are among the witnesses--a great cloud, plus the genetic witness of two families merging  again into another genetic family. I also know that in that cloud, as spiritual people, you know others are here, in spirit and presence...you carry their genes and spirits  too…your fathers Edward Harms and  Mike Reger.
    ⁃    You are spiritual people, believing in eternity, strong individuals who break the mold of ordinary, an energy flows from both of you. I'd say you're edgy.
    ⁃    I've tried to find wisdom  that fits you both, that is edgy and I believe it is in the Old Testament in a book you never hear preached from, or mentioned in churches--the Song of Solomon or Song of Songs.
    ⁃    That's probably because it is the most sensual, sexual book in the Bible…considered poetry and wisdom, but while physical, recognizing in inseparable spiritual reality of lovers. Really it's a play, a conversation between two lovers and friends. As with any couple, there are problems, but the story is of intense love.
    ⁃    It so fits the two of you. I've chosen some lines I think you'll identify with. Listen to the beauty of some of the words of the poet--don't worry, I'll not repeat the erotic, juiciest parts, but use your imagination on the symbols of wine, and gardens and flowers and more, as the poet speaks to you.
    ⁃    First speak the friends--your witnesses--
    ⁃    "We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine."  That's a lot of praise
    ⁃    The lover speaks: "How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves."
    ⁃    The Beloved responds: "How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant.
    ⁃    "I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys."
    ⁃    The lover responds: "Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens."
    ⁃    Now it may not surprise you Jake that it seems the woman has more to say than the man, but I think you're used to it by now.
    ⁃    The Beloved says: "My lover spoke and said to me, 'Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come…Arise, come my darling: my beautiful one, come with me."
    ⁃    The lover says: "You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes. How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice! Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride…" It gets better.
    ⁃    The beloved says: "My lover is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, turn my lover and be like a gazelle, or like a young stag ."
    ⁃    The lover says: "my lover, my perfect one, is unique, the only daughter of her mother, the favorite of the one who bore her."
    ⁃    Near the end of the eight chapters, the beloved say to her lover: "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for loves is as strong as death, its jealously unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
    ⁃    "Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away."
    ⁃    When I was talking to you the other day, having known Alexx longer than Jake, I told you Jake that I believe you rescued Alexx, gave her purpose and direction and a sense of dignity and being herself. And Jake you said that Alexx rescued you too--giving you direction  from wandering without meaning. If there's a word that describes both of your best traits, it is loyalty. 

When you've been rescued, you know. That's how you two have proven your love over the years.
    ⁃    High in the New Mexico mountains in the Pecos wilderness there's a snow- and spring-fed brook that's clear and pure, making beautiful music as the water gurgles over round rocks. Those rocks used to be jagged, but millions of years of water flowing over them have smoothed them out, and they help keep the water clear and beautiful, and the banks verdant with grass and life.
    ⁃    When  I was talking with you about being rescued, Jake said, beautifully and poetically worthy of Solomon:
    ⁃    "Our relationship is like a babbling brook, smoothed stones covered with flowing water."  Alexx chimed in for emphasis: "flowing water, and music."
    ⁃    Jake said: "Without the two of them together you just have hard rocks, and just water. 

" Together, you make beautiful rescued music."
    ⁃    Please face each other.
    ⁃    Now Jake, you wish to speak to Alexx: vows xxx

  • You Alexx: vows to Jake. xxx.
  • Jake, you have a token of your vows, places it on her finger and repeat after me:
    ⁃    I Jake take thee Alexx, to be my wife
    ⁃    to have and to hold
    ⁃    in sickness and in health
    ⁃    for richer or for poorer
    ⁃    and I promise my love to you forevermore."    ⁃    Alexx, what do you want to tell Jake, as you place a token of your love on his finger:
    ⁃    I, Alexx take thee Jake, to be my husband
    ⁃    to have and to hold
    ⁃    in sickness and in health
    ⁃    for richer or for poorer
    ⁃    and I promise my love to you forevermore.
    ⁃    "Jake, your token of your vows. Place on her finger and repeat after me:
    ⁃    Alex, your token of your vows, place on his finger and repeat after me:
    ⁃    I Alexx take thee  Jake to be my husband
    ⁃    to have and to hold
    ⁃    in sickness and in health
    ⁃    for richer or for poorer
    ⁃    and I promise my love to you forevermore."

  •  Upon the authority of your love, I pronounce you husband and wife. You suggest you kiss each other.
    ⁃    Turn and face your witnesses.
    ⁃    Rise
    ⁃    I present to you mm Jake Harms.

And here's Susan, dancing with her daughter

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