You Are Choosing

IMG_0727From officiant Cait De Mott Grady, for the wedding of Anna Joyce and Max Paskin in Ithaca, NY on September 9, 2017:

Good afternoon! My name is Cait De Mott Grady and it is my honor and privilege to welcome each of you to this most amazing day! The day when our dear Anna and Max, bravely and with great love and care and with the support of their family, friends, and community choose to commit to each other in marriage.

Today come together to actively witness, bless, and support Anna and Max as they enter this new phase of their couple-ship.

In preparation for today, I’ve been thinking deeply about Anna and Max’s choice to marry in this moment of history we find ourselves in. I’ve also been thinking a lot about stories and the truths they tell and the truths they erase.

Today, we are gathered on Dan and Judy’s beautiful homestead. We are gathered on this land that Max grew up on and land that has nurtured and supported Anna and Max – from the garden, to the pond, to the orchard, to the sauna that Max built, right back to pond, to this beautiful field we’re standing in. Today, we also name that we are gathered lands of the Indigenous Peoples of the Cayuga Nation, stolen in colonial conquest.

We name these truths in an attempt to see the world clearly. To hold the complexity and contradictions present in our world – because the act of naming gives us the option to choose how to respond.

Anna and Max, today you are choosing each other. You are choosing to commit to the work of interdependency, to the work of telling complex stories and to naming truths – your individual truths and the larger systematic truths, which are so often obscured – as you seek to live intentionally and in community with others.

You are choosing to say yes to joy in the face of Seattle skies turned brilliant orange from raging wildfires – where ash drifts down like snow from the sky.

You are choosing to say to each other, in the face of powerful hurricanes, which lay bare the intersection of climate change and environmental racism.

You are choosing to say yes to life in the face of the threat of nuclear war.

You are choosing fierce love in the face of overt white supremacy – a love that holds that black and brown lives matter and that white supremacy threatens us all.

Anna and Max, your choice to marry, to choose life, to choose community, in the face of all this, is profound.

Today, I am grateful to these dear friends, Anna and Max. Friends whose love and care for each other is infectious. Whose joy and delight in each other and in their community is palpable. Max and Anna, you are two of the most compassionate, capable, and caring people that I know – you bring joy and warmth and presence to all your relationships.

Anna and Max, we are so excited to journey with you in the coming years of your marriage, to support you as you do the work of listening to each other, growing together, and loving and nurturing each other.  

Cait De Mott Grady is a writer, law student, and organizer from Ithaca, NY.

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