Tag Archive: celebrate

yesterday tbV and i attended the wedding of some friends we have made in americaland, namely Kristin and the Beatles [as i call Matt, cos to me he looks like 2 or more of the Beatles rolled into one] and had a really fun time.

the wedding was outside and the highlight of the event [apart from all of the wedding-related stuff of course] was this young flowergirl who completely messed up her job and yet somehow got the equivalent of a standing ovation [that sitting people can give] from the crowd…

and my explanation will do it absolutely no justice at all, but let me try – the audience had formed a semi-circlish kind of shape and the seven bridesmaids had walked through one after another building the expectation and with gentle music playing in the background as everyone awaited their first glimpse of the lovely bride… enter flowergirl…

young, pretty, dressed nicely and walking along with her basket of flower petals grabbing handfuls of them [‘grabbing’ in the way that a heavy metal lead guitarist would as opposed to the more graceful ‘grabbing’ one might use to describe a heart surgeon carefully reaching past a crucial artery] and throwing them at [as opposed to ‘gently and lightly tossing them into the air so that they might settle like a flock of gently settling doves after a synchronised flying aerial display] the ground [in the way that the previously mentioned heavy metal rocker might ‘gently lay down’ his guitar at the end of a set into thousands of tiny scattered guitar shards] and having most of them land on her top… before savagely [well, as savagely as a prettily dressed flower girl might be capable of] turning the basket over and emptying the rest on the ground just over half way to the front…

and the response to this messed up, ungraceful, wedding-holding-up display? applause… thunderous applause… as thunderous as a [well, by now i’m thinking you get it, it was pretty thunderous]

because it was a wedding. and she is a young girl. and the crowds were gathered for a celebration. and everyone was in the spirit of love and life and wonder and grace and joy. and because no other response would have felt close to being the right one.

she didn’t steal the show from the married couple, because it was a wedding and the marrying couple deserve and win the majority of the love and support and celebration… but she did provide an extra unscripted moment of unity and surprise and fun.

and this morning as i thought back to that delightful event, i thort to myself, imagine if we could treat all forms of ‘failure’ or ‘accident’ or ‘mishap’ like that… what if we chose to celebrate the person, rather than the action? what if we decided that the ‘failure’ [which, at least for a few more years, we cannot go back into the past and make any changes to] was just something to learn from or to save for ‘remember that time when you’ stories and chose not to get angry or frustrated or make people feel stupid? what if, time after time, we chose people rather than things?

what if, we chose to take the stance of the wedding crowd more often than we currently do?

i said to my beautiful wife Valerie the other day something along the lines of ‘what do people write statuses [stati?] about on Facebook if they are not entering into a relationship or having a baby? [or these days in americaland making some kind of staunchly pro this party or anti that one political statement] as it just seemed like the majority of statuses [stati?] i was reading were about one of those…

and two things come out of that, the one for those of you who are not the ones celebrating is this:

it is easy to get caught up in the fact that in the last week you have witnessed thirteen new relationships, seven new engagements, two weddings and heard that four of your friends have announced their pregnancy, an adoption came through and two other friends had a baby just from reading statuses [stati?] on Facebook…

it can begin to feel like a deluge and “aw no, not another one” can quickly become the response and the temptation to write some less than authentic comment on the latest pic can be strong…

but it is important to remember that for each individual involved it is not “another one”, it is their one. it is important and significant and it is beautiful and worth celebrating and it is special and life-changing [at least for today but probably for the rest of their lives] and that as much as it might feel like a deluge for you, the witness, for them it is unique… and has to be treated that way.

[which may be extremely tough if you are the person who has just broken up with your significant other, or been broken upped upon, or not been able to fall pregnant, or lost a child]

and so the call to get your mind into that place of realising that each announcement or declaration or celebration that happens on the social networks you are a part of, means something significant to the people posting/sharing it and to not simply treat it [even in your mind] as “aw, another one” but to try and celebrate with your friends and let them grasp the fullness of the uniquity of their occasion.

i think a great way of doing that is by stepping beyond the social network – making a phone call or taking them out for some caffeine-enriched beverage or inviting them round for a meal or something live where you can face to face [or mouth to ear] let them know that their thing is a big deal… and you choose to celebrate with them.


to make sure you are aware of the deluge in your unique, read this

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