Monday, August 22, 2016

The Last Waltz

A few months ago, when Kiva told me she was getting married, I was happy for her. Her partner David truly seems to care for her. They love each other.  What more can you ask?

Kiva is a blazing ball of inspiration and she is freakishly talented but, like many artists, she's not the most organized person I've ever met. So, when she told me that she and David wanted to get married at the camp out I had some concerns about the planning and delivery of such an event.  Case in point: she didn't figure out who was going to perform the ceremony until a few days before.  I wasn't even sure if she was going to have a ceremony. That would have been perfectly OK; it's her wedding and, if she doesn't want to have a ceremony, she doesn't want one. But, as the hostess and chief party planner, it was a little nerve wracking.

In the end, it turned out to be one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever attended. Kiva's friend from Portland performed a ceremony that referenced zombies and The Princess Bride among other things and it couldn't have been more appropriate, beautiful and moving.  Members of her "gentle army" of Twitter followers traveled from England, Maine, Texas and Portland to attend. It was the first time they ever met in the physical world and it was so beautiful to see them bond together like they had known each other their whole lives.

So yeah, we had a camp out and a wedding broke out. It was stunningly beautiful, but it could have gone terribly wrong were it not for the support we received from every single person who attended.  Lowell, Matt and Phil worked the grills all weekend long, they never stopped, ably assisted by Ed Willy.  Lowell must have shopped for a week beforehand. Joe sweated over boiling oil to make deep friend mushrooms.  Louise, Lynn, Marianne, Laney, Jeanne decorated the platform and Lynn provided tons of extra bedding for the out of towners.  Alayna's flowers were incredible. Arly and Paul ran errands for me all over the Rogue Valley. Ellen and Alyssa wrangled the cupcakes.  The whole family was there, Arly and Paul from Philly, Greg and Phyllis from Illinois, Danny, August and Ruger from California, Noah and Heidi from Ashland, all bringing food, music and good times. Our deep, dear Colestin family members Jeff, Ruthe and Cooper came from Santa Cruz, Dutch, Kat and Finn came from Arcata. Greg, Max, Laura and Nick rebuilt the bridge to the swimming hole before the weekend even commenced. My oldest friend in Ashland Cheryl was there with her daughter Shana, and Shana's two boys tore up the slip and slide all weekend along with Finn and Lynn's son Eli. They were highly entertaining to watch. My dear old pal Suzan came from Cali and brought such sweetness with her.  James Dean strung lights and generated power and Phaedra brought her beautiful family and friends, including her daughter Indigo's tribe of teenagers. One of them strung a slack line across the meadow and did circus tricks for us. Robbie DaCosta showed up on Friday and played all night long. Jesse, Joe and Jimmy played for me on Saturday, and Noah and Greg played into the wee hours. Pete was there, as was Louis and Corbin.  Erin, James and Ed all came from the scene shop.  Mike and other members of the "Gentle Army" played music so sweetly. There were more than 60 people in the circle each night. I know I'm forgetting people and for that, I apologize. That's the trouble with making lists, they're always incomplete. To one and all my deepest and most sincere thanks.