Drifter’s Wind

The Pretty One is off the grid. Again. Hopefully she’ll be back online again in the morning, but until then you get my musings. And if she’s not online in the morning, she’s headed to the wireless store. (Think our parents had any idea one of those was coming? Well, perhaps – they did invent the Radio Shack. Kind of the same thing.)

So our evening conversation wandered around as it always does. She hates the weather up there. She hates her cable provider. She hates icy roads that prevent her from getting to the grocery store. But the kidlets loved the made-from-scratch pancakes. Mmmmmm …. Pancakes …. Er, sorry about that.

Then the conversation turned to my not being in midair and en route. And I was told not to say anything about how much I hate the Boston Marathon. Which I wouldn’t say, because I really liked covering the marathon, even if I did almost run over Bill Rogers one year.

The wandering continued to the wedding plans we won’t be making this weekend. She talked with the pastor and has a meeting on Monday with him, and so she’ll get some things worked out. But there are some decisions we need to make – flowers, vows and readings.

I trust her on the flowers. Well, let’s put it this way – when she asked me what kind of flowers I liked, I paused and said, “Dandelions?”

To which she responded, “I’m allergic to them.”

Okay then.

Vows we’re leaning towards simplicity on, but the readings … there’s something I would like to sink my teeth in to. I am not a biblical scholar by any means, but I think I’m rather well read in a round about way. So I trundled over to my bookshelves and plucked a book of poems out, remembering one I’d heard years ago.

The Pretty One paused while I read to myself, then needled me to share. And I decided that the poem has absolutely no relationship to our wedding or marriage, so it’s right out.

Did you ever stand on the ledges,
On the brink of the great plateau,
And look from the jagged edges
On the country that lay below?
When your vision met no resistance
And nothing to stop your gaze,
Til the mountain peaks in the distance
Stood wrapped in a purple haze.
There-the things that you considered strongest
And the things that you thought were great,
And for which you had striven longest,
Seemed to carry but little weight.
While you’re gazing on such a vision,
And your outlook is clear and wide,
If you have to make a decision,
That’s the time and place to decide.
Although you return to the city
And mingle again with the throng;
Though you should be softened by pity,
Or bitter from strife and wrong.

Though others should laugh in derision,
And the voice of the past grow dim;
Yet, stick to the cool decision
That you made on the mountain’s rim.
Bruce Kiskaddon

I have a CD where Chuck Pyle recites that prior to singing a song, the first I’d ever heard by him. Years later I got to meet him and ask him about the poem. He said he always felt bad about messing up a few of the lines, but he got the idea across.

The song he sang was “Endless Sky,” about a cowboy coming off the range to settle down (“Besides nothing’s quite the same, this cowboying’s gotten too tame. And the roof of a pickup takes up too much of the sky”). Which is kind of appropriate, and I love the song. But he misses the range – and I don’t expect that.

So now I’m back to square one. But there’s still time …

-Otto (not out, I’m not allowed to say that anymore)


  1. hilarey

    Thats a beautiful poem, i even read the whole thing which is weird for me.

    i hope the wireless store enjoys its new customer. i dont see the grid getting any better

  2. ChristieNY

    Beautiful! You have time to work on the readings, and it sounds like you’re pretty easy-going about this stuff and can ease Mir through this even from afar. :)

    And – hee hee, since Miss Mir isn’t here to say anything about it…

    “OTTO OUT!”

    Hee hee hee ::: ducking for cover before she wallops me with a snowball :::

  3. Cele

    Love the poem Otto, thank you.

  4. Krisco

    That was beautiful. Yeah, no relation to marriage AT ALL. : )

    I saw Chuck Pyle in concert once, in Denver. Dragged there by a cowboy friend. Had no idea ANYONE had ever heard of him. Actually bought the CD. Time to get it out again, perhaps.

  5. Dave

    Thanks for the poem. I’ll be saving that one.

    Sorry, but I’m with Mir on the “Otto out.” In radio shack parlance, “out” means that you are turning off your radio and can no longer be reached.

    How about “over?” Done speaking, waiting for you to reply….and there’s still just a bit of alliteration with Otto.

    (Now you know why I laugh when someone on TV says “over and out.”)

    “Clear” says that you are done with this particular conversation, leaving the channel open for others, but still listening. Interestingly, it rhymes with “Mir.”

  6. Rachel May

    That poem really touched me. Knight and I realized a couple of months ago that I need to be home more, so I won’t be going back to teaching next year. Since then, Murphy has struck, hard and fast. Knight lost his job, for starters.

    It’s hard not to panic and tell my principal that oh, wait, I was just kidding and I DO need that job next year. It’s also hard to tell people like my mom that no, I’m NOT taking my job back for next year, even though Knight lost his.

    We KNOW there’s something better that will allow me to be home more (even if not full-time), which will be a huge blessing to our entire family. We just have to stick to our guns in the midst of all the chaos.

    So, thank you for sharing with us! It really struck a chord with me.

  7. Tessa

    Talk of meaningful poems and reading possibilities dragged me from my dark, comfortable, lurker’s chair. Thanks a lot. Hrmph. ;)

    Anyway, at my wedding, we had the traditional “Love is patient, Love is kind” Corinthians reading, but I wanted something more…down to earth, too.

    I had actively searched for months, and I had pretty much given up. A few weeks later, I was reading a novel and this particular section hit me like a 2×4 upside the head. It’s in Owlsight by Mercedes Lackey, pgs. 108-109. Here is the (much summarized) version that was read at our wedding:

    A marriage is a partnership, not two people becoming one. Two minds cannot fuse, two souls cannot merge, two hearts cannot keep to the same time…You are two who choose to walk the same path, to bridge the differences between you with love. You must remember and respect those differences and learn to understand them, for they are part of what made you come to love in the first place. Love is patient, love is willing to compromise – love is willing to admit that it is wrong. There will be hard times; you must face them as warriors do, side by side. There will be sadness as well as joy, and you must support one another through the grief and sorrow. There will be pain – but pain shared is pain halved, as joy shared is joy doubled …You must not pledge yourselves thinking that all will be well from this moment on. That is a dream, and dreamers must eventually wake. You must come to this joining fully ready, fully committed, and fully respectful of each other.

    Depends on your viewpoint (the reader’s husband *really* didn’t agree with the sentiment at ALL, and let me know very forcefully), but it worked perfectly for us.

    There’s my unsolicited two cents. I’m going back to my corner now.

  8. brown eyed girl

    It’s OTTO!

    Oh how I love this wonderful blog.

  9. Kristen

    Otto, sometimes there is a desire to distance one’s self from wedding plans as they are annoying and neverending. My now husband hung in until the end but never quite got around to picking out or agreeing on vows. Boy was he surprised when his conservative, introverted self had to repeat after the pastor, “with my body, I thee worship.”

    He almost swallowed his tongue. And he has never left me unattended since.

  10. Bob

    marriage, especially when getting a ready-made family to boot, is such a life-changing event. Reminding yourself that when the going gets rough you have to hold onto why you decided to marry in the first place.

    Interesting choice of poems.

  11. Erin

    I, too, am planning a wedding and deciding on vows and readings, although we’re having a civil service at the botanical gardens, so there won’t be any religious readings at all.

    Thanks to Tessa for the Owlsight passage! That’s great, and I imagine we’ll be using it in July!

    Here’s another of my favorites, along the same lines, from Louise De Berniere’s Corelli’s Mandolin (the book, not the film):

    And another thing. Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises and eternal passion…THat is just being “in love,” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.

    Happy long-distance planning!

  12. Delton

    I’m with brown eyed girl on this one. I think it’s very cool that you (Otto) are here and sharing with us as well. It makes things that much more interesting having your perspective added to Mir’s. Best of luck finding the right reading.

  13. Shanna

    We wrote our own vows and since I have not been raised with any set religion, we did a very unreligious ceremony. Backyard at my parent’s house with the County Court Commissioner as the official marriage approver.
    We did poems by Kahlil Gabrain. He has all sorts of love poems and it was hard to pick just one, but we wanted to keep it short so we could get to the party. ;) Good luck. I have a whole book of his poems if you want to borrow it.

  14. Aimee

    Hi Otto!

    Marriage is hard work, but I think at the wedding it’s probably best to stay away from mentions of “jagged edges.” I’m sure you’ll come up with something wonderful.

  15. Heidi

    Waving at Otto!

    Tessa, that was gorgeous. I especially enjoyed “pain shared is pain halved, as joy shared is joy doubled.” Ain’t that the truth!

  16. Liise

    Apache Wedding Blessing: Short and Sweet and Beautiful

    Now you will feel no rain,
    for each of you will be shelter for the other.
    Now you will feel no cold,
    for each of you will be warmth for the other.

    Now there is no more loneliness.

    Now you are two persons,
    but there is only one life before you.

    May your days together be good and long
    upon the earth.

  17. Susan

    ^^^ That was used in ours. I absolutely loved it.

    Otto, it’s so nice to see you here! Sorry about Mir’s situation, but we’re happy that you popped in during her absence!

  18. Judy.

    Hi, Otto, from a few miles south of you in Tifton! I’m glad you’re able to fill in for Mir while she’s off line (but I hope she gets things fixed soon). Good luck on all the wedding stuff for both of you!

  19. Randi

    I’ve always been in favor of, “Repeat after me husband-to-be: I, Otto, do so solomnly swear to entrust my life to Mir – to know that she is more knowledgable about all things and do so here agree to bow down to her in every way, shape and form imaginable.”


    Totally kidding. Have a great weekend you guys!

  20. Nancy

    This is a portion of “I Love You”, by Roy Croft that my sister had read at her wedding.

    “I love you, not only for what you are,
    but for what I am when I am with you.
    I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself,
    but for what you are making of me.
    I love you, for the part of me that you bring out.
    I love you, for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart, and passing over all the foolish, weak things that you can’t help dimly seeing there,
    and for drawing out, into the light, all the beautiful belongings that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.

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