I recently attended a wedding between two women. One of them was my wife's childhood friend; she married her partner of 19 years in a lovely ceremony in southern Minnesota.
At one point early on in the Episcopal service, I found myself suddenly awash with emotion, tears welling like a flash flood. I'm not an unemotional person, but the depth of my feeling at that moment, the wave of tears that seemed about to be unleashed, took me by surprise.
I've lost my composure on occasion, but this was one of the few times I can recall feeling truly overcome. And it surprised me.
Admittedly, at my advancing age, I find (more frequently than I probably like) that I regularly am slapped in the face by feelings triggered by the forces of history, age and context. When the overwhelming importance of a moment -- or the resonances it creates -- penetrates the miasma of my preoccupied consciousness, it occasionally grabs your lapels and says loudly, "Pay attention, stupid!"
So it was at this wedding. It hit me -- hard and fast. After the ceremony, all I could summon by way of congratulations or description (without feeling as though I might dissolve into tears) was, "It was very moving."
But I later forced myself to stop and seriously consider in what way I'd been moved.
This commentary continues on my website.