This story will be about a dance, eventually. But it starts as a story about creative writing, something as a marriage celebrant I do all the time for my couples. Every wedding ceremony is unique and new written just for two people. Often I seek ways to hone my writing craft.
Creative writing is key to a great wedding ceremony. As your celebrant, I practise writing to hone my skills for your wedding.
Recently I attended a creative writing workshop with marvellous teacher, Glenda O’Sullivan.
A few months ago, a dear friend of mine and an inspiring workshop queen, ran a creative writing day. Glenda invited several budding writers to gather. She invited us to open our minds and let loose our pens.
I don’t usually call myself a writer. Perhaps I imagined one has to be pumping out novels, or contracted to a magazine to claim that title. Of course there are many more writers in the world than one would imagine.
On reflection, I realised I do write. Every day in fact. I write this. A blog, a collection of stories really.
I write wedding ceremonies. I write eulogies. I write for couples. I write for families. I write for people.
Yes, I write every day.
So, with a little trepidation, I went along.
The gift of writing
Glenda gave the group a wonderful gift that day. She took us along the road to writing creatively. She began with simple tasks to get our pens sliding over the paper. Then she upped the ante, interrupting our train of thoughts with unusual stimuli; a gesture, a flower, or a compulsory word or two. As the day progressed we played word games, wrote lists, turned the lists into prose, the prose into poetry, and back again. Each time we had to produce a piece of writing on the spot, on paper, and on time!
I’d like to present some of the pieces I wrote that day.
We played a word game. The game produced a list of words.
Write, she said, using all the words on your list … and she gave us 10 minutes…. Speed writing is very creative writing!
So I wrote.
my darling, my darling, my love
A necklace for your sanity … my darling, my darling
Your neck will just surrender … my love
Relegate sizing to your tailor … my darling, my darling
Measure your team of suitors … my love
I salivate with surprise … my darling, my darling
Your tears send a sinuous shiver … my love
Lean to my sincerity … my darling, my darling
Tenuous yet necessary … my love
Undulate, manipulate .. my darling, my darling
Ululate the timing … my love
Sing your man a lullaby … my darling, my darling
Be my eager minstral … my love
Round and round the duckpond … my darling, my darling
Mad as a team of yabbies … my love
Eat my words on Sunday … my darling, my darling
And tell me that you love me … my love
Writing wedding ceremonies
Some couples might wonder just how I create unique wedding ceremonies. I draw on creative writing skills to achieve a perfect marriage ceremony for you. I chat with you and we laugh. I get to know you. We talk about life, meaning and wedding wishes; about family and feelings. You tell me your stories. I tell you mine. You get to know me, and feel comfortable with me as the person who will conduct the ceremony on your wedding day.
From all this I weave a tapestry about you, your love story and your wedding day. You also get chances to alter and change, delete and add.
Creative writing workshop
The poem above, is by no means part of a marriage ceremony. It was written within a different context; a creative writing workshop.
If your wedding celebrant can write creatively, you know you can expect a truly unique ceremony, all about you, and your ideas on your marriage. Not just any old ceremony with your names slotted into the gaps.
You want something that is a reflection of you.
Something meaningful, to you.
Something memorable for your family and friends.
Something just a little different, pitched right. Your style in words.
Contact me if you’d like a ceremony written just for you.
And to finish this article, here is another piece I wrote under time pressure that day…. about the dance.
The floor is smooth. Wooden floor boards polished by feet. Slide together after every step. Bring the left together with the right, across the boards. Smooth the timber. Caress the wood. Foot does not leave floor. Slide… together…slide … together. Ready for whatever may come. There is no past. No future. Just now. Just this moment. Just this step. Then that step. That’s Tango.
She tucked a lily behind her left ear. Not the right ear. It would get in the way. She wore a flower on the right once. Never do that again. Well it was a fake rose anyway. But it tickled and scratched his face when he took her into the close embrace. He fluffed and blew it. She had to throw it away; out of her hair, onto a chair, to dance.
The flower was on the left. A lily; simple, plain, a tiny bit jaunty. Like the tango. She was the lily. And the lily was the dance. Subtle but with intent.
This year I have begun to learn Tango. I may never finish learning Tango. I relish the opportunity to let go of control; to release, to stop helping, to simply allow someone else to lead the way. To follow the lead, to rest my head on a shoulder and allow my steps to follow.