Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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red wedding

Vagabond Jim became Jim Home on August 1, 1999

He actually changed his name when he married Kristie Haag, and together they put together their own ceremony; as Eddie Codel said, "if i ever get married, there's the model."

It was a reverant combination of new age popourri and tangible Quakerism. Most notably, they took the priest-less, testimony based service as the basis for their service. Amidst readings from Rumi, and the brilliant red costumage of both the bride and groom, the attendees themselves made up the reverence.

I can remember attending parties at their apartment, and some time as the night wore on, we would end up assembled around the bed admiring Jim admiring Kristie, or visa versa. At the time, I couldn't decide whether it was intense indulgence or guided communion - I think I took my object of worship home.

In the setting of their wedding, the people around them streamed the love in a lakeside sundappled red adorned service, where it was impossible not to feel moved by the shared smiles and broken hearts of people watching their friends and family conjoined.

A Quaker ceremony, or in this case, a Quaker-inspired wedding works like this: there is no leader, no one closer or more in communication with God than anyone else. The meeting is initiated in silence, and the participants stand and make their own testimony as they feel moved by the spirit, or in reaction to the remarks made before them. It's a service where the liturgy is made up spontaneously by the participants, and it can be very peaceably moving.

In this case, they spelled out the terms and no one moved to speak. After some moments of silence, I felt obliged to open the dialog, since I'd attended some services before in the Swarthmore vicinity:

(this is a rough draft written before what I said):

many folks involved in the internet community choose monnikers for themselves. I carried one online that was stuck to me in my childhood; vagabond jim emerged in my online world already with that name. I think he told me it had something to do with moving around a lot, and i can believe it - jim has a well travelled calm to him that is very emotionally reliable. and still he is unwaveringly enthusiastic for the world around him - it's very inspiring.

anyhow, he's among the first of the people that i know my age who are doing this whole marriage thing. maybe that means that people are losing their fear of committment. maybe they're discovering marriage as the basis for a solid life in times otherwise characterized by unsettling shifts. maybe, vagabond jim ain't gonna vagabond no more. if vagabond means "one who travels from place to place without any permanent home," then it's quite fitting he's changing his name. maybe they knew that. now that i think about it, they probably did. they seem smart in that way.

best of luck to them.

It seemed like half of everybody had something to say - and no one spoke too long or said anything indiscreet. Mostly, people just testified to the immense love they felt in the presence of this couple, and so the speakers blessed the day as an occasion of anticipated unition.

Howard testified to having felt the holy spirit. There was a sense of sweeping emotion I felt, as each testified to their unique bond to the two, or one involved. There was more immediate poignancy to the service than I have heard from most of the other officials administering marriage in my experience.

As for the permanence, in the Quaker tradition I think, they had everyone present urge a resounding "Yes" upon the couple at the end of the service if the assembled thought the two should be conjoined. And so they were, upon the words and witness of well worn friends.

there's the model indeed.

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