There will be days when one side wins, and that’s okay. Yesterday, the planner scored big, landing countless points in the battle against the poet. The poet, sensing the need to allow this victory, hung back and observed.
With just 24 days until I drive out of Alaska I find myself coordinating a wedding. I dream of spending my day posting photos of too-heavy possessions soon to be sold on Craig’s List. I close my eyes and envision myself sitting in a coffee shop writing my second post for you to read. I crave the feel of the keyboard beneath my finger tips as I… pack my overnight bag?
The wedding was beautiful, set atop Mount Alyeska in Girdwood, Alaska where snow still covers the ground in the middle of June. For those living in the Lower 48 (that’s how we Alaskan’s refer to every other state except Hawaii) it may seem strange to imagine a blanket of white on a summer day. Try. Guests are seated on a ski slope landing as the Bride steps carefully up the grated walkway, her eyes exploding with joy as she sees their faces gathered together. She giggles then turns to her soon to be husband waiting under the Chuppah and a tiny squeal of excitement escapes her lips. The first tears of the ceremony begin to fall. My poet wants to write.
Because the location requires moving over 100 people up a mountain by way of tram running every 15 minutes and maxing out at 60 guests – including the summer tourists who swarm like bees around the resort – we have 3 coordinators on site to ensure the day appears seamless. It is a dance we do, communicating our movements on radio headsets we trust will work. Radio headsets we must then work around when one microphone brakes. Three of us can hear. Two of us can talk. One is at the base of the mountain. Two are 2300 feet higher. We text and call and radio and use a series of coded clicks with our microphone buttons when all else fails. It is seamless to everyone but us. My planner is satisfied with our success.
I could go into every tiny detail of the night which satisfied the planner in me. I could write about each hiccup no one noticed, each headache avoided, each moment in time captured on camera which might otherwise have been missed if the photographers were less informed of changes – but then I would spend the entire day letting the planner win – again. Last night’s bountiful compliments from the couple and all their guests were enough reward for her. Today I give to the poet.
If yesterday had belonged to the poet she would have left her post handing out tram tickets to guests at the base of the mountain, to find her camera when the black bear cub appeared on the hillside. She would have taken a risk and snuck closer for candid shots as the tiny bundle of black fur played in the grass. She would have laid there for countless moments without a care in the world except establishing a safe distance while getting close enough to get the shot of a lifetime. She would have photos to show you. But instead, she snapped a quick distance shot with her phone and rushed back to greet another guest ready to board the tram.
If yesterday had belonged to the poet she would tell you about the moment in time, just before the ceremony began, when the groom snuck around the corner and stole kisses from his bride. And she would tell you about the love which passed between them in that moment and how it filled up all the open space and rained down over the ceremony. She would tell you about every moment in time which was equally filled with love and joy and the ceremony which used words like, “I promise to support your growth as an individual in our marriage.”
But then again, had the planner not had the job, the poet would not have been present. Thinking back on my first post, Can a Poet and a Planner Co-Exist? I say they must.
And now I know that yesterday was not a battle to be won or lost. It was a day to be experienced. A day to be cherished. A day to be recounted in words. It was one more day in my journey. And I must continue to remind myself – The Journey is the Destination.