Today is the anniversary of the day I joined my life to that of my best friend in the whole world. It marks another year that we have stood by one another, supported and loved each other. A year full of accomplishments, laughs, tears and setbacks.
I thought I would take some time and celebrate today with you guys a bit, and tell you the story of us. Share with you how we met, and all about how we tied the knot. This may turn into kind of a long post, so grab a cocktail, or some coffee, get comfy, and enjoy!
Ken and I met through mutual friends in Minneapolis, Minnesota where I was living at the time. I rented a room in a house from a friend, another musician that Ken played with here and there. Ken was living in Chicago. He would come through on tour, or to play with a local project, and one day, I was coming in from the tattoo studio. It had been a slow day, and all I wanted was to kick back, have a drink, and find something to do in the city for the evening. I walked through the living room where one of my roommates was sitting on the sofa with this scruffy looking blond dude. As I crossed the living room, this stranger said, “Hey, she’s cute!” I looked him up and down, gave him a dirty look, and continued up the stairs to my room.
Over the next year or so, we continued to run into each other in this way. He would be staying at the house or I would see him at a show, or we would be partying in the same place. It seemed that he knew all of my friends. At one point, I even did some live painting at a show that his band headlined.
Then, I found myself invited to go on a tour with a collective called The Revolution Circus. RC was an eclectic group of artists from different parts of the country that did a variety show and traveled around like gypsies. There were musical acts, a sideshow, as well as some acrobatic stuff, burlesque, and even a snake dancer. And now, with me, live art.
Some of us left Minneapolis bound for Detriot, Michigan. The plan was to meet there at what we called ‘The Bunker’, join up with the rest of the acts, do a little rehearsing and organizing, and hit the road. The tour would take us to Chicago, back up to Minnesota, then through Missouri, Denver, and finally to Salt Lake City for the SLC Dark Arts Festival.
We arrived in Detroit. The Bunker was really an old commercial building that had been converted into a strange living space by a videographer that was close to the group. We settled in, bought a bunch of booze, and waited for the rest of our funky little family to pile in. There had been talk of this drummer, Kenny, and how he was bringing a mobile recording studio, with him, and how he would need some rehearsal before our farewell to Detroit party that we were planning to kick off the tour.
The next day, this scruffy blond guy, came through, carrying this huge bag. We took one look at each other. “Oh, it’s that Kenny!”, I said to myself. We both said hello, laughed it off a bit and went about our business. Later that day, I came out of the shower area, in a rockin’ pair of Steve Madden pumps, walked across the open rehearsal area, he stopped playing and yelled out to me “Hey! Nice shoes!”
Above are some photos/flyers from that tour. OMG we were so young and skinny!
Two days later by the time our little caravan was assembled and ready to hit the road, this scruffy drummer and I were inseparable. And so it began. By the end of the tour we were hopelessly and totally in love, and I had agreed to move to Chicago, settle in, and be there when he got back from the 3 month tour he had scheduled with his regular project that he was due to depart on three weeks after the end of the Revolution Circus tour we were on together. The rest is history.
The subsequent years were unconventional. He continued to tour regularly, and I moved back out of Chicago in search of more lucrative work and less expensive housing. To Arizona, then to Texas. We talked when we could. His tour crossed my path a few times and we got to see one another. How we made it work is beyond me, but we did. At one point, I made the move back to Chicago and took a break from tattooing in favor of a more stable job in a nightclub.
When we finally decided to tie the knot. We wanted to recreate the tour we fell in love on. We assembled every part of the Revolution Circus that we could and asked them to attend our handfasting, and instead of a gift, we wanted them to perform at the reception. It ended up being one hell of a show!
I was a bartender at a large music venue in Chicago when we got married. The people I worked for gave us the use of the entire club for our wedding and subsequent reception. To keep the live show vibe, we opened the doors to the public with no cover charge after our guests were through eating. The more the merrier! We had eight musical acts, a zombie magician, the Doppelganger Circus Sideshow, and a burlesque girl perform. There were around 150 people in attendance for the great rite and then many walk-ins once the show got going. Ken played drums with three of the acts. I like to joke that I hired my husband to play drums at my wedding.
One of our friends is a costume designer at an Opera house in Chicago. As her wedding gift to us, she handmade the Victorian-inspired slightly steampunk ensemble I wore on our big day.
Before the show, we had a handfasting ceremony complete with Priest and Priestess, and all the trimmings. We wrote our vows and instead of reading them separately, we read them together. They were based on the Hindu Seven Steps, which I find to be so beautiful. We were situated in the center of the room, with our friends and family all around us in a big circle to bear witness to our union.
After the opening part of the rite, before we said our vows, our friend Jah Son and two of his friends did a hand drum charge up, to gather energy for the rite. After that, we said our vows, the Priestess blessed us and our union, and we closed the circle. I can’t even begin to describe how the energy in that room was. I had never felt anything like it before and still haven’t to this day.
The green ribbon that was used to bind our hands for the rite was then worn around Ken’s arm for the rest of the night, and today, it is tied to our headboard to bless our marriage and mend any differences we may have had during the day, every night while we sleep.
“I enter into this union knowing that the true nature of love is not to avoid change, but to navigate it successfully. Whatever lies ahead we will face together. Distance my try us and time may test us, but we will look to each other now and always and see a friend. Look to me for all the days to come, I take my place as your partner.”
Me: “We are word and meaning united.”
Ken: “You are thought, and I am sound.”
There really is no greater magic in the world than that of Love.
The journey I have been on these past years has been the most exciting, awesome, heartbreaking, and uplifting time of my life.
We have lived a country apart from one another for months on end as a result of our respective work, we have had soaring highs and crashing lows. Somehow we make it work.
One thing is constant.
WE ARE WORD AND MEANING UNITED.
I am thought, and he is sound.
Thank you for reading!