Our first wedding was in the Baptist Church in Blackstone. I failed at that marriage in the mid 70s and got a divorce; then I failed at divorce and we got remarried in a Siddha Yoga group wedding, but were unable to get a marriage license in NY State in time for the wedding, so it wasn’t until we had a civil wedding at the Nottoway Court House did we get an official marriage license.
Just found this picture of the civil wedding, the third wedding. I surprised Tilly with this one. We were passing the court house and I asked here to come in with me for something, and the justice of the peace was waiting. BAM! The deal was sealed. If you haven’t read the previous posts, I had not gotten a NY marriage license because they required a blood test that I hadn’t scheduled, so we were to get one and our guru would sign it later. We never did.
Not wanting to broadcast that we have been living in sin, it just got put off. One day at Yogaville when we had taken my uncle and partner for a tour, I was standing at the gift counter with Tilly, my uncle and partner seating right in front of us as if in church, and a ordained swami was at the desk, I just picked up a ring Tilly was buy and put it on her finger and asked her to marry me. BAM! The civil wedding followed quickly.
Our Siddha Yoga Wedding was a spiritual wedding between two pieces of white bread. Our two kids were there and we camped in a local camp ground for a few weeks at the South Fallsburg Ashram. Twenty couples from around the world were in this great wedding on Guru Purnima Day, which is the celebration of the Guru’s Moon, the largest moon in July.
We returned to Cleveland were we had come to practice you—I had come to practice yoga in 1972—and opened a Siddha Yoga Meditation Center. A few years later we sold the house and went to Ganeshpuri, India, Swami Muktananda’s home ashram. From there we came to Blackstone and planted our tree of many fruits in the house my wife grew up in.
Wedding anniversaries are no big deal to us since we have had three of them, and the middle one, the important one is floating, always on the full moon of July.
Our other two weddings were worldly weddings, earth weddings, bookends for our heavenly wedding.
From the view point of the eternal wedding one can see the patterns of the temporal marriage, and they, the patterns of your marriage because a source of humor, the food for a comic. The fights and fits of our marriage make us roll on the floor in laughter.
Just yesterday I noticed a pattern. Hey, even after 59 years, I’m still discovering our marriage patterns, the groves our needle runs in. Whenever I ask my wife if I can throw out some jar she has emptied and left on the counter, it is always: Yes, you can throw that out.
But when I don’t ask if I can throw it out, inevitably, I should not have. She finds my sin in the trash: “Hey, I use this to store my seeds.” I have turned my wife into a Trash Lady who digs in the trash to find what I shouldn’t have thrown out.
Marriage is ironic. When I try to do good, I lay the foundation for doing bad. No matter how hard I try, I cannot be perfect. No matter how god I get, I must save some space for being bad. Life is a balance of good and bad. A happy marriage always restores balance. In balance, the good is the bad and the bad is the good…and that balance, when discovered, always evokes laughter. When you can laugh, you are in balance.
We do have a few pictures from the Baptist Blackstone wedding, and this is the best I think. I was on a submarine at the time, and I extended my four year to five when I got married to help tilly finish Longwood and begin her teaching career.
I remember when I told my sonar chief (I was a sonar man)that I was getting out of the navy, and he, shaking his head, patted the sonar gear and said: You take care of this gear and the Navy will take care of you. In 20 years you can retire and take it easy.
I didn’t stay in the navy. I was getting married and, while I didn’t know it, I was getting a better deal. I would pat my wife instead of the sonar gear. If I took care of her, she would take care of me, loving me more than the navy would ever do.
So what’s our anniversary present? A new more powerful pond pump for our Buddha Pond. Love is the spiritual pump of a marriage because it endures all ripples.