Archive for May, 2010
Although I was unable to be there in person, I was blessed with the opportunity to write the introduction and some poetry for Martin and Hannah Abel’s recent wedding on May 29, 2010. Being trusted to capture their love in my words was an incredible honor, and (with their permission) I want to share that which they inspired with their across-the-earth romance and timeless love.
Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. On behalf of Hannah Bairnsfather and Martin Abel, I would like to welcome each and every one of you here today to witness and celebrate the occasion of their marriage.
As their closest family and friends, your presence is of great importance, because you, more than anyone else, know how their love, and now marriage, came to be. You have beheld a relationship that would not be conquered by distance, would not submit to the great stresses that threatened it. And now you witness their commitment to the life-long promise to always cherish, strengthen, and nurture their love.
But you are also seeing evidence of life’s mysterious wonders. Three years ago, who could have imagined this day? Who could have known how fate’s wheel would turn, how the gears of the universe would align, against all odds, to bring these two souls together? It all began, innocently enough, with a hyperlink. Martin, sharing his artistic talent with the world, caught Hannah’s attention. Though she had, at that time, not drawn for years, she harbored a similar passion, and struck up an online conversation with him. That moment, so simple and unassuming, was the inception of all that was, and is, to come.
In spite of the thousands of miles that separated them, they came to know each other’s warmth. Each inspired in the other a sense of true and honest joy. Hannah began drawing again. Happiness abounded in their lives and their love began to blossom. Distance, though daunting, did nothing to retard their feelings.
Finally, through the kindness and generosity of friends, the time came when they were able to meet in person. They both will tell you how special that moment was. Though they could not know it then, through their nervousness, in that first embrace, they felt the future. Their future. The future to which you are now bearing witness, at this very moment.
While they traveled when they could in order to be together, it wasn’t until two years later that Hannah was able to permanently make Australia her home with Martin. Those two years were hard, filled with difficult goodbyes. But they persevered, beat the odds, and now stand before you, on their wedding day.
And so that is their story, in which circumstance gave way to shared passion and led to this day: the start of their married life.
However, marriage is a bond that can only be forged in the fires of truest love; the mere heat of passion does not burn nearly hot enough. Knowing this, Hannah and Martin, together, have built their relationship on a sincerity that fosters acceptance, openness, and trust. They understand that marriage is not the throwing out of parts to create a perfect whole, but rather the merging of two wholes to form a perfect bond. They respect all that completely embodies their partner, honoring each other’s individuality as well as accepting any and all faults that are contained within. No matter what the road ahead of them holds in store, Hannah and Martin are together, forever.
Just as their love has instilled great joy in each of their own hearts, so too has it stirred the hearts of others. Throughout the ceremony today, Hannah and Martin would like to share with you poetry written for them by their friend John Walsh, who was inspired by the incredible love he saw unfolding before him.
This segues into the first poem, which is from Marty’s perspective, before the giving of the bride.
“Now We Are Here”
For the entirety of my life I had waited,
Searching to find you, my dearest love.
I knew you were out there, somewhere,
With a heart that shone as the stars above.
On the other side of the world you resided,
So far away from the dreams we had seen.
But we have worked long, so very hard,
Destroyed that space which was between.
And now we are here, together at last
At that grand and most wondrous time:
When I fall completely into your arms,
And you forever into mine.
The second poem, which is after the giving of the bride, is from Hannah’s perspective.
Time has long stood between us
And held us beyond arms’ length,
But still our love continued,
For our hearts had the strength.
At last I’ve found my way here
And into your loving embrace,
To feel the warmth of your body,
Bask in the glow of your smiling face.
And smile we shall, forever and onward,
For we will never again be apart.
I’m yours for always, my love;
I give to you all of my heart.
The final poem, after the vows, rings, and declaration, is about their shared experience and the new bond of marriage.
“In Soul’s Embrace”
Across the world, your smile did shine,
Let me know that your heart was mine.
Over thousands of miles, your laugh did carry,
Brightened my day, even when I was weary.
You were many leagues across the sea,
But still your voice did comfort me.
No matter the body’s distance, I never did once resign,
For your soul was always close, snuggled next to mine.
But now time and space have been slain,
And our deepest love will forever reign.
There is nothing to stop us, not now.
Our bond will conquer all, and how!
The titles of the three poems, when read together, form the phrase, “Now We Are Here, Together Forever, In Soul’s Embrace.” I couldn’t think of a better way to sum up their love and marriage.
In addition to what I wrote for the actual wedding ceremony, I also contributed an untitled poem to a video with which Martin surprised Hannah at the reception. These words appeared alongside the art that inspired them, an original digital painting Martin did of the couple in their wedding attire, standing at the spot where he proposed. This was set to John Murphy’s “Sunshine (Adagio in D Minor),” resulting in an wonderfully emotional piece.
It was here that I did fall upon bended knee
To ask you, my dearest soul mate, to marry me.
It is here that my heart shall forever stay,
For I will cherish you always, as I did that day.
And though the great storms and rains will come,
Our love shall burn eternal, bright as the sun.
Martin and Hannah, congratulations to you both. Thank you for inspiring me with your love.