Back in January I got an invite to the wedding of my old friend Aidan and his partner Lucie, which took place on Saturday in St Pancras Old Church. As an athiest I generally avoid attending religious services but in this case I decided to try to leave my prejudices at the door and go with the flow. Father Duckett (Assistant Curate with the Old St Pancras Team) was good and the service was powerful but it still didn’t feel right to join in with words addressed to a mythical being in which I do not believe. Once at a party at my house Aidan sang an excellent song about the revelation of Saint John the Divine and more recently he recorded a setting of the Book of Job (called Manchild) for his album Love’s the Drummer, so there are definitely Christian influences but for some reason I have always thought of him more like an Eastern philosopher. I guess I was a little disappointed that the service was a traditional Christian one but as long as the bride and groom were happy with the ceremony that is the main thing, and it was obviously incredibly meaningful to them both. Having friends and family present to witness it was also important, and they were, it was standing room only. Marriage is in the news at the moment since President Barack Obama announced yesterday that he now fully supports same-sex marriage. I could go off on one about it but I will spare you and just recommend an interesting article called Till Derrida do us part from the August 2002 edition of Harper’s Magazine.
After the ceremony people gathered outside the church and then set off on a procession along the canal towpath for which guests had been invited to wear costumes and bring musical instruments. I wore an embroidered jacket and matching hat which were gifts to my father from a Kazakh colleague. My friend Malcolm was there and had brought a selection of Tibetan singing bowls which he distributed for people to chime, and the party slowly made its way to York Way and a pub called the Star of Kings for the reception. As would be expected there were a a fair few poets amongst the guests and they were encouraged to perform. Philip Wells, The Fire Poet kicked it off with something he had written for the occasion. I must have left by about ten o’clock when the party was really only just getting going but I trust that a good time was had by all.