Today we went to Desirae and Matt's wedding. Everywhere you go people are different and this wedding was different from all others I have been to. It's interesting to see how different people ritualize events and add meaning to the important events and rights of passage in their lives.
Speaking of monumentous events, I've been thinking a lot about the process of mourning the loss for each new change in life. Mourning for the loss due to a change is only half of the event but it's what I have been considering lately. It started with a discussion and reading in night school last semester. The point was made that every change in an organization requires mourning no matter how small the change may appear to the one making the change. The idea is that a manager needs to recognize and allow for the mourning of the loss, of the way things were, when a change is made even if it is as simple as a change in the lunch time. People adapt and attach their lives to so many aspects of life that changes appearing insignificant to one may be quite significant to the other. Another aspect of this is that the person making a change may come across resistance when they did not expect it because that person has already had time to mourn, contemplate, and convince themselves of the appropriateness of the change during their consideration before announcing the change. Others need time to catch up and it is unfair to expect them to instantly see the light of another's ways upon first hearing of them. These are some of the thoughts I have been considering. From small to large I am trying to see how I mourn and embrace change and how others do the same. I appreciate this perspective and it was useful for me as I said good-bye to my life as a classroom teacher and became open to my life as an assistant principal. I also see now the mourning component of my annual pilgrimage to Santa Cruz on my birthday where I go to contemplate my life as a form of ritual in which I mark the passing of my years through recognition of what has been, acceptance of it's passing, appreciation for what is, and preparation to appreciate what will be.
Enzo has brought great change into my life as well. I don't feel in anyway that I am missing out on anything in exchange for his presence in my life but it feels valuable to recognize those changes and appreciate them. I have said good-bye, at least for now, to staying out all night with friends, riding on long distance overnight motorcycle rides, seeing boobs solely as rare and special objects of desire, and the knowing that no one is dependent on me. It's interesting that I don't feel bad about those losses. They came as easily as their acceptance; as if a cloud is noticed in passing. They are only temporary, so perhaps that affects the feeling. Well, the boob one may be significant in that breasts will never appear exactly the same to me. They can never be so simplisitic now that I have watched them nourish my child. I remember a time not so long ago when boobs were magical beacons of attention-grabbing enchantment. To see an exposed breast would be something to write home about... if I lived in a very odd home, I guess... but you get the point. I remember my friend in middle school telling me that he and his family went to a nudist colony in the Santa Cruz mountains regularly and me trying to imagine what kind of booby-Meca such a place must be. I really couldn't understand how a boy could walk through such a place without extreme pressure in his pants all of the time...... if he had pants, which he wouldn't at a nudist colony. Then again, at the time I couldn't understand how to make it through math class without that pressure either. Oh, memories and hormones. But now, I have seen exposed breasts more in the last months of my son's life than I can count. They are so different to me now. I understand Julia Robert's character's line in the movie Notting Hill differently now. Paraphrased it went something like:
"What's the big deal with men and breasts? They're just breasts! Half the people on earth have them!"
"Oh, silly Julia", I used to think. "They are breasts! That's the big deal!!" But now, I see the point. They are first a part of some women's bodies, secondly they may be useful tools to feed children, and only lastly are they apparently magiacal instruments to attract my attention. I think I could see every bare breast in the world as I walk down the street now and not trip on the curb. I know they will someday cease to be food makers for my child and I look forward to that shift in roles for the magnificent pair, though I don't rush to that day as I find it best to never rush to the future. Boobs will always be more to me now and that's cool though very different than I would have expected. Middle school Randy wouldn't possibly understand. He'd be too busy sitting very carefully in math class.
I wonder if Desirae and Matt took any time to mourn the losses and anticipate the changes as part of their marriage ritual today. For my wedding, I definitely took the time to anticipate the changes and the time to appreciate the significance of the event. I don't believe I was wise enough to mourn the losses, however. Instead, I gradually said good-bye and adapted to those losses that came with my marriage over the course of a few years. Ha! That process always provided for interesting conversations. In less than two months from now Tami and I will have been married for five years. It has been such an interesting experience. Humbling, to be sure. A maturing experience, as well. My favorite aspects have been the fun and the silly parts. And traveling. We make great traveling partners.
Well, today on this marriage day of a family member.... Here is to mourning losses great and small, appreciating what we have, experiencing what we may, and making the most of the new from every change.