11 February 2009

Some/Thing New

This post is part of Robin's Some/Thing carnival for Freedom to Marry Week, and Mombian's blogswarm on the same subject. Freedom to Marry's event page can help you find local events: get involved!
So many new things of late:

new house
new renovations going on in my bathroom
new office
new colleagues
new bike-commuting lifestyle
new school
new job
new Farmer's Market
new friends
new feelings of loneliness when thinking about old friends who are now far away
new foods
new views
new courses
new texts
new bureacracies
new president

So much, so new, I barely have time to reflect on it all.

And so much new homework sitting next to me: time for a new activity--finish the grading before going to bed.

10 February 2009

Something Old

This post is part of Robin's Some/Thing carnival for Freedom to Marry Week, and Mombian's blogswarm on the same subject. Freedom to Marry's event page can help you find local events: get involved!

Something old. We don't have a lot of old things in our house. Politica's parents emigrated as adults; my grandparents emigrated, and they didn't have much. Neither of us comes from families rich in tactile history--there are photographs, of course, in our parents' houses, but not a lot of old things.

We don't have a lot of old traditions in our house, either. We've been conscious of the new for so much of our relationship. When we got married, we designed our Quaker ceremony to include some music (before the silent worship period). We designed the program to explain the ceremony and its context to our guests. We created new rituals to celebrate holidays together, eventually opting together to join a new faith tradition as we solidified our sense of family. It's all new.

We had to represent something old at our wedding. We did have one relatively old guest--Politica's father, who is so delightfully clueless about gay marriage that he only learned that it wasn't actually legal when we got married. (And for years thereafter, he'd ask, every now and again, "so, how's the marriage issue coming along out there, as though our former, extremely conservative state was going to shift any day now. This even before marriage equality seemed to be picking up steam in the states.) We had to find a way, though, to represent the broader sense of old at the wedding. We used old language. Our wedding rings have an inscription in Politica's Family's Ancestral Language, matching the inscription on her parents' wedding rings. We list ourselves as daughter of all four of our parents on our wedding certificate, even though my parents didn't attend and her mother was long dead.

We see ourselves as creating new--but sometimes, I miss something old. I wish we had more things around us connecting us to generations that came before. But our new will someday be Curious Girl's old, and I sometimes think about our family rituals as things we are creating and polishing, creating and softening, readying them for her to take and use as she will, in her life and her family someday. Old will come, and I'm happy to have Politica by my side as it does.

Seven conversations in seven days is a Freedom to Marry program designed to promote creative talk about marriage--click on the graphic to learn more.

09 February 2009

Freedom to Marry Week

It's Freedom to Marry Week! And there are two interesting blog carnivals going on. Mombian and PageOneQ are co-hosting a Freedom to Marry carnival, and Robin (at The Other Mother) is once again sponsoring her Some/Thing Carnival, with five days of themed posts (something old, new, borrowed, blue, and Celebrate Love to cap it all off).

I've written a fair bit about marriage already this year. I've been writing about marriage to my local representatives and to my governor. I've been having wedding fantasies, living now in a part of the world where it's possible to imagine marriage equality arriving sooner rather than later.

We've had two ceremonies so far: our Quaker wedding, which has no legal significance, and our Vermont civil union, which has legal significance only when we happen to be in Vermont. Anywhere else, it doesn't matter. The lack of mattering matters to me. With all the gains and losses in the marriage equality movement lately, I'm more aware than ever of the marriage rights I don't have.

Politica just called me to find out what size butternut squash to buy for the stew I want to make this week. We spent this weekend hanging out with my sister and her kids; we walked around outside, doing winter things. We all went to a science museum together. We ate dinner. We exchanged Christmas presents, finally. We laughed. We admired our giggly girls. We made plans for more visits.

All of it, so ordinary. And yet to listen to some marriage equality opponents talk, you'd be led to believe that this sort of ordinary life is going to be the end of civilization as we know it.

Not hardly. It's just ordinary people with an ordinary life. Check back here for some more stories this week--and check out the participants in the carnivals, too. You'll meet good people.