I'm not sure I can fully explain the sense of beauty and redemption I felt watching the royal wedding this weekend. My ever-practical husband teased me about wanting to watch it live ("you know it'll be everywhere in the morning, right?") but it meant something to me to see it in real time. So I slept on the couch for 2 hours and then watched coverage for almost 5. I dozed a tiny bit when celebrities were coming in and out of the frame (definitely from exhaustion not from lack of interest!) but I caught all the good stuff live.
Of course, everything was beautiful and as an artist, beauty matters to me. Lace and arias and fascinators are fun and meaningful and celebratory. To see the effort and expense, I could scoff at the frivolity of it all, but I chose to see it as priority given to something that matters to the people who made such an effort. And though I'm sure a few were there just to witness all the pomp and circumstance, the fact is, this was a royal match made for love and with intent towards change and progress. I believe most people were there to celebrate and support that movement towards the future.
It was not lost on me that the colonizers were bringing an African-American into the fold. Not in a forced or fake tolerance way but in genuine welcome. Meghan is independent, 36, black, not royal and an American. This is no small thing. I could not have been more thrilled that in her moment in the sun, she did not minimize any of those things. She walked herself down that aisle halfway (that was planned even before her dad backed out). She brought in the incredible Rev. Michael Curry from Chicago to give the wedding sermon and that dude PREACHED. I'm not much for sermons these days (at least not dry, rote ones) but he brought it in a real way. I was moved by his message. As beautiful and true as his words were, the significant piece to me was his style of delivery, which was in every way BLACK. I chuckled at Camilla's resting bitch face while the stuffiest in the church showed visible discomfort at his demonstrable passion and zeal. BRING IT!
The music, her regal mother, the sermon - her roots were on full display and it was GORGEOUS. I get chills just reliving it in my mind.
Ultimately, weddings are about love. And getting married is totally crazy! Anyone who denies this fact doesn't know what they're getting into. I straight up said that in my wedding sermon when I married my best friend and her now incarcerated husband. Shit gets real in life and marriage is awesome but it is another vessel that can bring crazy into your home. Because now you've got two people and their craziness added together. It's exponential possibility for madness. However, the audacity of claiming life-long love (especially when you're super young) not knowing what will come down the pike is exactly what makes it so beautiful. It takes faith. It's a leap that you make together. And let's be honest: sometimes it doesn't work out. That's okay. No matter the outcome, when you go in eyes wide open and leap, that's an act of courage.
Ultimately, seeing the look on Meghan's face when Harry lifted her veil - that willing, vulnerable love full of shared faith and trust - that is what the world needs. I know it's naive to say - let's just all fall in love with each other and the bombing and the selfish consumerism and the abuse will end. And yet, I kinda think it would.
I was talking with some dear friends the other day. We were dreaming about a future project to develop materials to fight "other-ism". Immediately, my heart leapt. The royal wedding was a moment of de-other-izing. And the world needs more and more of it. I have to believe that under the typical wedding excitement, I wasn't the only person whose heart sang a little louder because of that dynamic at play this weekend. It's hard to hate people up close. We gotta roll up our sleeves and lean in. How can you fall in love with your world today? How can you step into a commitment to each other with faith and vulnerability and strength? How can we mend centuries-old traditions in our personal lives? I think if we each participate in that process in our little corners of society, the whole world would change.