Our good friend Samantha Barrow wrote and conducted our ceremony, and we are tremendously grateful for the great job she did and the kind things our friends said about us in her research!
Welcome family! all those who have come before and already departed, all those yet to
So I’ve been doing a little research, collecting stories in preparation for this big event,
and people like you guys. They love you as individuals, they really love you together.
This is not a wedding your clan had to drag themselves to.
We love you because make us laugh, and because you make us proud.
You are, by all accounts, according to people who’ve known you since you, Sharon, were blond, and before you, Mike, ever met that purple sweatshirt, are the happiest you’ve ever been. You exude the most “sense of belonging” in your life.
Nobody gets thought of more when those cute kitten or panda videos come up on facebook, you are both on the short list of who to call when the puppy or feline has an emergency.
Nobody wants you to move far away, we want your babies in the world, we want to squeeze them.
We admire the way you challenge each other and your community.
Have we told you yet we’re proud?
And you make us want to say corny things, like you’re meant to be together.
You are our co-conspirators for deviant operations, as well as the people we count on in crisis.
And while Sharon plays a larger role in the fashion advice dept., and Mike handles the heavy metal inquiries, you both inspire us to invite you to homes, to our parties, to our important rituals coast to coast.
You are deeply trusted, as political allies and community leaders, but also intimate friends.
Your presence in our lives brings us to our own awareness of the powerful, revolutionary forces of love, all kinds of love, including romantic love between people of all genders, including self love, and deep bonds of human (and animal) kinship that necessitates a struggle for justice.
To quote Martin Luther King Jr:
"When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I
am not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force
which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love
is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality." Beyond
So today, as we celebrate and sanctify, as we focus on Sharon and Mike’s unity, we remember why they are not off doing this alone at the Track n’ Turf.
― Wendell Berry, wrote in his essay “Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community”
“Lovers must not, like usurers, live for themselves alone. They must finally turn from
their gaze at one another back toward the community. If they had only themselves to
consider, lovers would not need to marry, but they must think of others and of other
things. They say their vows to the community as much as to one another, and the
community gathers around them to hear and to wish them well, on their behalf and
its own. It gathers around them because it understands how necessary, how joyful,
and how fearful this joining is. These lovers, pledging themselves to one another "until
death," are giving themselves away, and they are joined by this as no law or contract
could join them. And so here, at the very heart of community life, we find not something
to sell as in the public market but this momentous giving. If the community cannot
protect this giving, it can protect nothing...”
Mike and Sharon, we need you. And you need us.
To mark this reciprocal sharing of love, the private and the public love, Sharon and Mike have chosen to engage us all in a ring warming ceremony. The concept is simple: their wedding rings will be passed through everyone’s hands, warming them, literally with our touch, but also with our blessings for their future. When they arrive back to Sharon and Mike, they will be priceless, containing our love, our pledges of support.
These rings are forged of Sharon’s paternal grandmother’s ring, passed down through Richard Wasko. Carolyn Wasko is dearly missed on this day, she was so excited for it.
Sharon and Mike’s dear friends Kate and Patrick will begin this process and help guide us through it.
(Begin Ring Passing)
While the rings are traveling through your hands, Yonah EtShalom, a long time friend of Sharon & Mike, will read “Modern Declaration”, by Edna St Vincent Millay, in celebration of romantic love.
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I, having loved ever since I was a child a few things, never
In these affections; never through shyness in the houses of the
rich or in the presence of clergymen having denied these
Never when worked upon by cynics like chiropractors having
grunted or clicked a vertebra to the discredit of these
Never when anxious to land a job having diminished them by
a conniving smile; or when befuddled by drink
Jeered at them through heartache or lazily fondled the fingers
of their alert enemies; declare
That I shall love you always.
No matter what party is in power;
No matter what temporarily expedient combination of allied
interest wins the war;
Shall love you always.
Joshua Marcus will serenade us with “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” by Sandy Denny, and if the time goes far and fast, he’ll sing another for us.
(Rings appear via dog.)
The vows you’ll be hearing from Mike and Sharon today are snippets from a magical commitment ceremony that they performed in a cave next to a water fall, where they had a little more privacy than they have today.
But to briefly retell the story around that ceremony, they traveled to upstate NY (Edit: Actually it was Northeast PA) in preparation of today, to have this thing, this moment, this life changing, and the exhange of vows itself was idyllyic. But then they got lost 3 miles down the side of a steep and craggy mountain as it was getting dark. They were with their scared and not so sure footed dogs Maxx & Drusilla, tired and whimpering. Then, torrential rain, the stuff you can’t see through, and panic set in. Crisis, as they got soaked and deeply scared.
And what do you do in crisis? How do you act? Do you turn to blame the ones you’re in it with? Or do you negotiate your way out together?
After a brief foree into freaking out, Mike and Sharon coaxed each other out of that panic. They negotiated together, eventually made their way to the road, eventually a car passed, and the evening ended in a hot bath by a warm fire.
So they take these vows in front of us today after already discovering a bit of the magic,cand the dirty wet work it takes to make a union survive.
Sharon: Mike, I love you more than anyone ever. Thank you for understanding me, for
being patient and kind with me, and for being my partner. I am unbelievably excited to
build the foundation of a larger family and life with you. I promise that I will always put
us first. I promise to be careful with your heart, and accept your love with a sense of
responsibility. I promise to find comfort and strength in you and to let you find the same
in me. Let this ring, warmed by our community, forever remind us of our commitment to
Mike: Sharon, I love you more than I thought was possible. I promise to share every
aspect of my life with you. I promise to be a fully invested and involved partner in all
aspects of our lives. I promise to care for you as best I can, and let you do the same for
me. I promise to tell and show you how much you mean to me every day. I promise to
do my best to give you everything you deserve. Let this ring, warmed by our community,
forever remind us of our commitment to each other.
By the power vested in my by you guys, you are officially hitched!
See you all in the cocktail lounge!