Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Another Parable to Ring Home

As Geoff mentioned, this past Saturday, Communality hosted our first-ever Winter Formal. (Various photos are available in the earlier post below.) We are a community well versed in simplicity and well attuned to the struggles of living; this evening gave us the opportunity to remember as well the exhuberance of the kingdom-within-reach. We planned an evening of extravagent food, music and entertainment.... and, for my part, it was convenient to be on the planning committee.

(You bet there's more....)We spent the late afternoon cleaning up at the High Street House, readying it for our evening's affair. We scrubbed the floors and windows and mantles, and decked the tables with elegant tablecloths, tall candles, and little tea lights. Food from petifores to sushi to spinich dip on garlic crackers called from the edges, and the aural mood was set with a selectively chosen CD mix. Folks within the comminity had donated various services for doorprizes, from dinner and entertainment with the Isaac Paul Maddock & Family troupe, to a professional bike tune-up courtesy professional bike tuner-uper Brad Flowers, to a night of childcare by the Koch's Marital Sanity Babysitting Service.

I picked up a hot date in the East End, on the corner of Fourth and Silver Maple. I arrived at Lisa'a place with a bouquet of flowers, and we plucked one to pin on Lisa's dress as an impromptu corsage before we headed down to High Street. We were dressed to impress, but still with an aire of playfulness as we strolled in with our feet clad in Chacos. We arrived bringing our contributions for the evening's dinner faire, but Lisa was unaware that I also arrived with a pair of rings in my coat pocket. I'd had a matching pair of wedding bands crafted in white gold, etched to mute the finish, but with the edges untouched to present some quiet flair. I was thorougly paranoid that she would bump the box stowed it my pocket and prematurely discover the plan.

The box and plan remained undetected, however, and we simply mingled and enjoyed the company for the party. Eventually the time rolled around for the evening's doorprizes, and with the co-conspiracy of the night's emcee, the stage was quite literally set. I assisted Brad in delivering the doorprizes, up until the last one. Brad reached into the basket, drew a name, and called our friend Bill up to receive "An invitation to a dinner celebrating the proposed marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton and Lisa Graham." I was at this point kneeling with a small open box in front of one very surprised Lisa Benjamin.

Some cross between the rush of adrenaline charged blood to my head and the assault of Lisa's kisses confused the eloquence of the actual proposal question that I had imagined, but the answer of "yes" was clear enough. Fumbling with the clasp, I fastened the necklace from which the two wedding bands hung around her neck, and we held each other closely as we danced into the remainder of the evening.

Thanks to all who made this possible: the collaborators within my men's group... the unwitting participants from Communality... Ben and Anna who joined us for the festivities... and, of course, my now fiancé, Lisa.

1 comment:

geoff said...

thanks CG. wonderful summary of a great night. we are thrilled about you two and more thrilled it all happens in the midst of this collection of people caught up in the mission of God. you two are brilliant priests in your own ways and together you will make quite the agent of love and grace in our neighborhood. congratulations!