The entirety of the human experience can be summed up in the anxiety, frustration, and nervous laughter of a man about to see his bride come down the aisle. You're anxious because you've been planning this moment since you got engaged--or at least you know she has, and you can't screw it up. You're frustrated because you had to be engaged for so long, and you're just ready to be married. You're nervous because you're in front of a bunch of people, most of whom you barely know, and you are trying to keep it all together. Something great is about to happen, and you can't wait, but you already wish it was over. That's the human experience.
Our wedding was gorgeous, or at least the pictures tell me it was. I don't really remember most of it, because I was navigating a fog of nerves and handshakes. There was one moment that I remember clearly. Just before I walked down the aisle with my mother, she asked me if I was nervous. I told her I felt like I was having an out of body experience.
I was floating three feet above myself, looking at me from behind and watching me prepare to walk down the aisle. I am certain that's what was happening. As certain as I am that I am currently holding a computer typing. I was both outside of the moment and in the moment. I think that might be what transfiguration is like, but I'm not sure. I just know I've never felt more present at any event in my life than I felt in that singular moment. It was beautiful and terrifying, the things that make a moment memorable.
Leaving Denver with Sarah is one of my favorite moments. So many times in our relationship one of us has dropped the other off at an airport. I've boarded too many planes without her, and it was such a feeling of accomplishment to board that one with her, knowing our days of crying goodbyes in terminals had come to an end.
We spent a few nights in Casablanca, as far away mentally and physically and spiritually as can be from Denver. We loved it there. Sarah is amazing at finding her niche in new cultures and places. She travels well. We found dirty sandwich shops in the locals' area of town that we loved, ate fancy seafood dinners overlooking the sea, and got swindled by souvenir dealers. It was a great start to the honeymoon.
In Tangier we fell further in love, both with the city and with each other. I have never immediately loved a new place as much as I loved that place. The smells and sounds are completely foreign and somehow comforting. The people are friendly, talkative, and funny. They are glad you are there, as if they have a secret they've been dying to share with someone.
You can drink your weight in mint tea in Tangier, and we did. Its syrupy sweetness is attractive both to good conversations and swarms of bees. We sipped mint tea in cafés once frequented by Tennessee Williams, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. We stayed in a hotel decorated by a famous French decorator I hadn't heard of. We took our breakfast each morning on the roof, where we could watch the city come to life.
Traveling is the only way to guarantee a week will change who you are. Get away from everything you find familiar and become the person you want to be. Once you find this new identity, you can go home. A honeymoon is a great place to do this. Sarah and I left on our honeymoon as newlyweds, and came home a real couple, with real habits and new connections. I think that's the point. Plus I'm always in favor of people finding an excuse to travel to someplace warm.
Now we are settling in our home in Germany. There isn't any of Denver's snow or Morocco's tea. No one drives a Subaru here like Denver and they don't sit for hours everyday at cafés watching people walk by quite like they do in Tangier. This is our home now. We are having fun making it our home now. I am thrilled to have someone else at home, now.