I had the idea that, since we’d been going through a rough patch, Edward & I should do some kind of re-commitment or vow renewal ceremony. Edward was open & responsive to the idea - though he’s virtually always exhausted from being overworked at the hospital these days, so most of the planning & ideas were going to be coming from me. The first day I spent time thinking about what we should do, how we should celebrate our love in a ritual once more & celebrate it’s endurance through the rough times, I felt overwhelmed by my own lack of creative ideas. I knew it was a stupid thing to beat myself up over, but I used it as another weapon against myself. I thought, “If I were more like this person I admire, I’d be coming up with something wonderful...” I thought, “If I were a real artist, a truly creative person, I would have more ideas about this.”
I talked with Edward about it that night & he suggested we go to a cabin in the woods for it. This sparked ideas! I spent the next morning searching for the perfect cabin to rent & found one only 15 minutes from us. It was a renovated A-Frame cabin - we’d have the ceremony/ritual upstairs & then go take photographs together in the woods. I knew what I was going to wear. I tried it on to make sure it still fit.
I started a mood board in my studio with photographs of the cabin & some of the nature surrounding it. I included a photograph of me in the dress I would wear, some handwritten notes about a script I was working on for the ritual & about being barefoot in the woods. I pinned up the golden leaf earrings I wore when Edward & I originally got married in December of 2016.
I texted him the ad for the cabin while he was at work and he said it looked perfect. I showed him my mood board when he got home. I’d scheduled our weekend for August 10-12th. But then we looked at his work schedule - the weekend wasn’t going to work. He would have to work way too many consecutive days at the hospital to make the weekend away possible. I felt rather devastated.
I took the photographs of the cabin off of the mood board.
I decided to follow in someone’s footsteps that I’d witnessed from afar. I would create a universe for us here, in a room of our own little rented house. I spent a lot of time searching for supplies & things we could use. How does one create a little universe to hold a little ritual in? It would be just the two of us, like our wedding, like we like it.
I created a new mood board. It’s still a work in progress. I’ve spent a lot of time online searching for a new ring to wear on my finger, to honor this re-commitment. I still haven’t found one. We haven’t set an exact date for this secret ritual in a secret universe yet.
At first I was disappointed that Edward didn’t have the extra time/energy to collaborate with me in planning this. Then I changed my perspective. I decided I would create a world and invite him to join me in it. I sent him an actual invitation.
Here is a photograph of the original very beginnings of the “cabin in the woods” ritual mood board:
Here is another photograph of the one I am working on now. I’m writing a script for us. We are going to get intergallactic style glitter EVERYWHERE & it’ll take forever to get cleaned up & it’ll be a ball.
This is the beginning of the invitation I made for him. The invitation was quite long but the rest is just for him, not for the internet.
"To My Love, My Edward, My Muse,
Join me in an (admittedly cheesy) world I am creating for us, a secret universe within our real lives, within one part of one room of one rented house in Montgomery, AL.
It's meant to be a brief shelter from the struggles that life & being human inevitably create for two people who are crazy about each other. We will be safe there. We can be one again - two people looking into each other’s eyes while also hopefully seeing into the future & seeing no end to their togetherness. We can feel safe in the illusion that this little pause will last forever, that we will never have to leave the warm & cozy universe I am creating. I can pretend, for that bit of time, that life will always feel this way."