A few months or weeks before our wedding, C and I were watching one of our favorite movies, O Brother, Where Art Thou again. Early on in the movie, after the three heroes have begun their journey, they hitch a ride with an old, blind man on one of those old hand pumping railroad cars. I don't know what they're called. The blind man speaks in kind of a mystical way, seems to know what the three are up to, even though there is no way that he really could. He begins by saying, You seek a great fortune... About halfway through his soliloquy, C and I looked at each other and knew we would put it in our wedding. As one of C's sisters read a slightly edited* version, her words felt like a prayer, age-old advice, knowledge that, even though we thought we had some idea of what we were beginning, we really didn't, couldn't know. Not for sure. These are the words from the script.
You seek a great fortune, you three
who are now in chains...
And you will find a fortune - though
it will not be the fortune you seek...
...But first, first you must travel
a long and difficult road - a road
fraught with peril, uh-huh, and
pregnant with adventure. You shall
see things wonderful to tell. You
shall see a cow on the roof of a
cottonhouse, uh-huh, and oh, so many
...I cannot say how long this road
shall be. But fear not the obstacles
in your path, for Fate has vouchsafed
your reward. And though the road
may wind, and yea, your hearts grow
weary, still shall ye follow the
way, even unto your salvation.
Those words have been bouncing around in my head for a little while. Like we knew, but we didn't. But we did.
It occurs to me that this is actually a hopeful speech. Though it's a long and difficult road, perhaps we will come to our great fortune. Even if we don't know what that fortune might look like. It's scary to even consider that. Not sure what I think about that. I think I need to think about it some more.
*No cows or cottonhouses in our wedding, thanks. Not that there's anything wrong with that.