My dear ones Gene Sxip Shirey & Coco Karol got married this weekend in the woods. I was a groomsmaid, a very lucky wedding cake decorator with my friend and frequent Oven Coven collaborator, Erin Orr, baker and artist extraordinaire. She made a cake out of hand milled hazelnut flour, pomegranate curd, and white chocolate buttercream, which we decorated with honeycomb, fig, and pomegranates.
We walked the woods and into a gorgeous woodland amphitheater, and the wedding itself was accompanied by music so beautiful I was crying throughout just from damn glory.
Sxip and Coco also invited me to read in the ceremony, which was a huge honor, particularly as they trusted me enough that they allowed me to not show it to them beforehand.
How lucky am I to get to give my love in public at their wedding? Very lucky.
Here are two visual aids to explain the poem I read. I wrote it in a frenzy on the morning of the wedding, between cake decorating and dress and marching through the trees to hear a brass band play.
And here is a link to Sxip playing bowls with marbles, which is one of the first things I heard him do. Go watch! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FsT_lnVppw
For Sxip & Coco on their Wedding Day
My friend plays music by dropping marbles into glass mixing bowls. The glass bowls aren’t glass but Pyrex, which can withstand heat, ice, snow, death, fury, confusion, guitars, white suits, absentmindedness, ferocity, broken down vans, Australia, circuses, fancy shoes, bullhorns, heartbreak, loss, sorrow, lust, love, and perpetual touring.
The bowls are, in theory, perfect.
My friend rolls marbles around in his collection of bowls, until they sing.
The bowls move around New York City and Europe and Ohio and Australia, in closets and kitchens and sacks.
My friend leaves bowls wherever he might need to play a song, and that is everywhere.
There are hundreds of singing bowls, and in theory they can be destroyed by nothing, including the apocalypse.
This is a lie.
One by one the unbreakable bowls break, until there are no old bowls left that can play the proper tune.
Every few months, for seven years, my friend calls me and asks me forlornly if I have any of the old bowls left, if somehow in the bottom of my closet the right song might be hiding.
Did I leave any unbreakable bowls with you? My friend asks.
No, I say. They all broke.
He hunts the perfect bowls across the internet and kitchen supply stores. He wants something that looks like it will shatter, but is stronger than glass, something that sings a tone that is sweet, but could also cut you.
He wants, in my opinion, something from both the ancient world and the future, something that seemingly doesn’t exist.
One day he calls me up and says he might have met –
He doesn’t say old-fashioned Pyrex. He says he’s met a woman who climbs up his back and stands on his shoulders, who dances around his edges and makes them into new shapes. And my friend, I notice, is singing in a tone I’ve heard before.
My friend, I notice, just met the marble that makes him sing.
She runs a circle around him, and up the side of his soul.
She turns my friend into an open tone, a singing note that echoes out into the rest of his life and expands, and comes out of the phone when he speaks her name.
She is bright and quick and made of hard stone, the kind of hard stone which, when cracked open, is a gem. She can withstand heat, ice, snow, pain, bruises, flight, fire, dancing on hot coals, splinters, high heels, white dresses, honeycombs, tangles, braids, clowns, love, fear, travels at lightspeed, shooting stars, rocket launches, learning how to trust, roaming, romancing, dancing on the toes of strangers, lust, love, and perpetual learning.
They are, together, the kind of glass you can dance on, the kind of note you can grab onto and fly. They make the kind of music most people never get to play, the kind of song most people never get to sing.
My friends play music by dropping their hearts into each other’s unbreakable mixing souls.