Humans beings. People. All of us here today. We want things to make sense, so try to make sense of things. The difficulty in doing that, lies within the complex nature of reality. We make sense of this vast world by setting up systems and parameters, organizing with labels and classifications.
We have rituals, ceremonies, rites of passage, and traditions.
We facilitate these actions with language. Language meant to express meaning, significance, and milestones in our lives.
That’s an important word. Language.
It’s through language we share a common understanding of what life is. It plays a part in connecting us, but of course, doesn’t fully represent what we actually feel or experience.
And like the tradition of today’s ceremony, language was designed by people.
All for the purpose, of making things make sense.
You see, we all have this involved, complex, and all too often unexplored world of emotional charge and intellectual content and through the machinery of our language we boil it down to words.
Language was born out of necessity. Communication made the world we live in possible.
First, we developed words to discuss the outside world that we could easily navigate with our senses.
And once we all agreed and understood what everything outside us was, we were able to evolve language further.
We created names for people and places.
And words to help us evaluate these things.
And after we had catalogued the external world to a satisfactory degree, people were able to use the mechanics of language to chart the infinitely more complex scape of our internal worlds. Examining and analyzing with our newly formed capabilities, we started to map out human emotion.
But that’s an endeavor where we still fall short, because it is in-and-of-itself, an impossible task.
Because solely using words to describe an emotional state, say happiness, is like trying to describe the sky a beautiful sunset.
You can detail specifics, you can convey a personal feeling, you can layer on adjective after adjective, but it will never suffice as an actual representation of the beauty you witnessed. It’s impossible to communicate the true essence of the wonder we experience.
The beauty of the outside world is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder,
But inside? Emotion in in the soul of the individual.
And what is it that impacts these emotions? What gives them rise?
Well, more things than I have time to go into right now. But I’d say it’s primarily a mixture of our personal histories. The combined experience of the places we go and the people we meet. And the events that arise in our lives, that are largely out of our control.
In fact, if you think about it, a lot of what happens in lives seems to be out of our control.
And one thing you definitely cannot control happens to be the same emotion that transcends these limitations of language.
The thing you can’t plan for is the same part of our inner world that IS easily understood through communication.
There is one feeling that demands itself to be known and seems to be required that you share it.
The sensation that eclipses all other emotions. The limitless inspiration of myriad books, movies, songs, poems, paintings, and dance throughout the collective of human history.
The very reason we are here today.
That thing, that one powerful thing is…
It doesn’t need a complex name, or a lengthy explanation. We don’t have to delve down into the depths of our unconscious state to examine its source.
Its mystery is as profound as our inability to deny it.
Yes, love is the exception.
With love, I don’t have to imagine what your sunset looks like, because it radiates enough for everyone to admire it.
I hope everyone here has felt that radiance before. And if you haven’t, well, you can feel it here today. I know I can.
And I felt it from the very first time I was in the same room as Jenny and Josh.
The way they talk to each other, they way the look at each other, their subtle body language, their care, concern, and compassion for each other, it all emanates the essence of the thing we call love.
Love’s transcendence. Its inherent demand for acknowledgment. Its metaphysical origin pushing its way into our world by actually augmenting our very biological makeup, well it is a powerful thing.
Love is a feeling so powerful, that the human race, in all our diverse manifestations, has designed rituals and ceremonies solely to honor and celebrate the mystery of it.
And that is why we’re here today.
I could continue to wax philosophical on love, but I’ll spare you. I will just give this advice, as it’s something I’ve found true in my own life:
Learn to recognize challenge as opportunity for growth.
Remember, going forward into your new lives together, that your love won’t always feel exactly like it does today. Because of the very nature of time and experience, you will change, and that love, your love, will change along with you.
And it should.
Don’t hold onto a static representation of what you think it should look or feel like.
As life presents its trials, your love will be challenged.
That’s a good thing.
Because if we aren’t challenged, we stagnate.
But when we take on challenges, we grow better and stronger. And if you rise to meet those challenges together, your love will grow exponentially,
and your lives will be all the more enriched by the power of the love you have built with one another.
In closing, I want to say thank you. Like I said, humans want to make sense of things, or at least want things to make sense. And the two of you getting married, well few things in life make more sense than that
So, thank you.
Thank you for honoring your discovery of that feeling we call love, for being brave enough to commit to that love, and for inviting us all here to this ceremony to celebrate that love with you.