The wedding, as it turned out, had proven anything but simple. In fact, by the time the groom finally stepped up to the alter to face his bride, flanked by Pastor Cory and Preston, she by Asti and Savitry, he was feeling rather as if the day itself had just squeaked through a one point victory in a playoff game of football. He might otherwise have thought that doing something for the third time—in this case marrying—would be a matter of familiar motions, an easy mimicry based on foreknowledge, but he was learning instead, and had been learning for a long time now, that nothing in life is easy, and nothing in life ever goes as planned.
There is nothing simple to be found in the world, nor certainly anything simple in love. Things just seem to be so, right up until they actually take place, that is. Perfection lies only in potential, and it is the latter which will ever elude.
He has practiced two phrases, which he has painstakingly, and not without the help of people who actually speak the language, translated into Indonesian. In these two phrases has the groom endeavored to sum up his deepest desires for the union. It appears to him to be important to utter these words in his bride’s native language. And why? She is, after all, perfectly fluent in English. Why then? Even he wonders.
Could it be, having done this before, heard these words before, that only sounds with which he is unfamiliar can make the difference now?
Pastor James reads from the Bible. He mixes in his own encouragement and admonition. It sounds like pretty serious stuff. But again, this too is all in potential. It had been serious stuff before, and yet had ended in disregard and dissolution.
Already his bride had hated him today, yet now love shines in her face like the sun in Java—and there it is, perfection, potential, waiting, hoping, maybe this time.
And the time is now. It is always now.
Pastor Corey seems very nervous. His hands are trembling. He sways slightly side to side, like a reed shaken in the breeze.
Meanwhile Preston is doing a masterly job of standing.
Things are changing, even as they stand—the bride, the groom, the two pastors, the stepson, the friends, the children, the old aunts, the parents. Things are changing far more than any of them know, and it is always that way, and always will be, and people will always fail to know it because the overwhelming illusion of the present moment will ever drink up the liquidity of time.
Today he is married, and both of them are somehow new. Today something begins, something meant to be, something that could not possibly continue without beginning in this way, at this time. Within a year something else will begin, unsought, unwanted, which yet will cling as fervently as love, or perhaps more so, only time will tell.
Even now, though the reality is hidden in the cloak of what is only potential, the groom is not he whom he thinks himself to be. He is thinking he has somehow arrived somewhere. Yet he has not arrived. He has taken but a single step.
Nonetheless, what is lasting arrives only moment by moment, and so shall we surrender this one to the groom; for his time has come, and the words which he had already memorized and savored in potential, timid on his tongue, yet ready to assert themselves with the utmost flush of confidence, are now by the Pastor conjured to utterance.
Dry tongued, through constricted throat, the heart nonetheless issues forth in word.
“Harapan kamu adalah harapan saya,” he says. “Impian kamu adalah impian saya.”
Your hopes are my hopes. Your dreams are my dreams. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.