Revel in Blue Ridge

GETTING WHAT YOU DESERVE—publicly, proudly, with panache: my working definition of a good wedding. Last month I witnessed the union of college comrade/attorney/zine impresario/poetic soul Marc and tank thinker/continent hopper/yogalista/fast friend Evelyn in the shadow of Virginia’s Blue Ridge mountains. Even after weeks of travel, I was pumped for this party.

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Walking off the tarmac at Roanoke Int’l felt novel; rare we fly anyplace small, I guess.

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The affair was “farm casual,” held at Evelyn’s rural homestead. My kind of crowd—journos, aid workers, stunt chefs, artists, floaters, and DC’s Shaolin Subliminal Ultimate Frisbee team. The marrying is going down at left (click for more detail).

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Johanna was a flower girl. I read at the ceremony, a passage from Thoreau’s Walking I managed to make ponderous, though it fit the setting and mood well enough:

We had a remarkable sunset one day last November. I was walking in a meadow, the source of a small brook, when the sun at last, just before setting, after a cold grey day, reached a clear stratum in the horizon, and the softest brightest morning sun-light fell on the dry grass and on the stems of the trees in the opposite horizon, and on the leaves of the shrub-oaks on the hill-side, while our shadows stretched long over the meadow eastward, as if we were the only motes in its beams. It was such a light as we could not have imagined a moment before, and the air also was so warm and serene that nothing was wanting to make a paradise of that meadow. When we reflected that this was not a solitary phenomenon, never to happen again, but that it would happen forever and ever an infinite number of evenings, and cheer and reassure the latest child that walked there, it was more glorious still.

So we saunter toward the Holy Land; till one day the sun shall shine more brightly than ever he has done, shall perchance shine into our minds and hearts, and light up our whole lives with a great awakening light, so warm and serene and golden as on a bank-side in autumn.

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It was hard to resist gazing slack-jawed at the scenery.

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Sarah’s nose collided with a swimming pool wall shortly before the event, but I assured her no one could tell.

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Toasting the newlyweds (only shot I got of them together; pitiful). Evelyn was lauded for her boundless talents; Marc, more memorably, for his “rapist” wit (oops).

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I was glad my “Friend of Marc” buttons went over, only wished I’d done something in kind for the bride.

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More weddings should have campfires.

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Aurélie played cello at the ceremony, joined later ’round the fire by Sam on guitar. A memorable singalong: “Yoshimi” by the Flaming Lips, “Dead Flowers” by the Stones, and (my fave) “Pizza The Size of Your Face,” an ode to the storied slice slingers of Adams Morgan.

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After a farm brunch and goodbyes Sunday morning (M and E were off to Argentina), we beat a path north to Shenandoah N.P., a park built along 100 miles of scenic highway at the highest point of the Appalachian Trail. It’s Civil War battlefields as far as the eye can see. Not being that kind of history buffs, we were mostly about the scenic overlooks, which are numerous and flippin’ beautiful.

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Marc: Ya done good, buddy.

>> The Rolling Stones – Sweet Virginia

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4 comments
  1. jenna said:

    congratulations to Mark – husband of one!!

  2. Marc said:

    Well chronicled, Jake. Many thanks.

  3. delightful…we hope you will find your way to the farm again soon…

    • Jake said:

      We’d love to come again, perhaps when you could use some unskilled laborers. I’m dying to do an honest day’s work.

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