Monday, December 24, 2012

Winter Solstice Wedding

Was it Plato or Yogi Berra who said, You gotta take the good with the bad? In fact the good becomes better with a modicum of hardship. And so it was that we made our way to Iowa in the middle of a hundred year storm which probably happens every other year.

In the enhanced version our covered wagon halted on the great plain enveloped in sleet and wind-chill temps near zero while Custer made his next-to-last stand, Buffalo Bill rehearsed his buffaloes and Black Hawk, the tribal chief, puffed his peace pipe in indecipherable smoke.

What actually happened were white-out conditions and all flights out of Chicago canceled. Moline and Rock Island in Illinois stare down Davenport and Bettendorf on the Iowa side of Old Man River, constituting the Quad Cities…and now you know. The sister cities apparently have no sibling rivalry. It was a peaceable kingdom. Even Buffalo Bill was honored for having been born there. Everywhere we turned seemed to be a Christmas scene with icicles and snow outlining the branches of naked maple trees.

The reason for our trip was not to check out the Democratic caucuses for the 2016 election. I’ll leave that for Hilary and Jeb. We were there to witness the marriage of Dave and Theresa. I'm sometimes suspicious of December weddings imagining they are scheduled on the advice on an accountant but not so this one.. 

Blackhawk was the name of the beautifully refurbished hundred year-old hotel where we stayed. Seven of us came from California arriving by motorized prairie schooner or maybe Mississippi barge while the locals presumably came on their flexible flyers and one-horse open sleigh. There were no no-shows.

Dave first met Theresa in grammar school. She was the girl next-door who got away. Now emancipated from her first marriage she has two grandchildren. Dave heard Hollywood calling where he edits, shoots, writes, directs, teaches and breathes cinema. Two years ago they reconnected and they are now living their happy ending which is really a new beginning. 

The ceremony took place at the Figge art museum; how fitting, Art being our religion. When two people are fully met something sacred happens. Everybody present seemed to be kin. Peggy wrote and delivered a beautiful epithalamium. Passages were read from first Corinthians which says something about putting away childish things. It’s fine if that means dumping his Yo-Yo and bubblegum cards but I’m sure Dave will remain a cinephile which is his bliss even if it has been relegated to second place. They will return to live here in L.A. where the snow is fake but the dreams are real for a return to the art of cinema.

It was an adventure being where the tall corn grows though the snow drifts are higher at winter solstice. I was wondering if these folks are any different from Californians, whether the four seasons align them better to the natural order of things. Living with the elements may call for resilience and accommodation while we have gotten soft and indulged. However we do have our quakes, mud-slides and fires to keep us alert for the next tantrum of the gods-that-may-be.  

While their seasons are cyclic ours are more random. I’ll never understand why they insist on having so much weather in the mid-west; we have practically none at all and get along just fine.

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