a gathering place for the words, images and momentos of the world of adventures i've adventured, the stories i've wandered through. curriculum bella vita...a resume, of sorts, of the good life.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Marriage of Dave Lund and Christa Carlman


J. De La Garza plays “Walk With You.”

Dave walks Marilynn and Angie down aisle.

Wedding party procession:

Mike Vogel (with Lola the dog)
Lisa Rutherfurd (with Emma the dog)
Matt D’Amour and Molly North
Nick Tackett and Beth Lund
Robert Lund and Maryellen Frank
Dan Lund and Susan Carlman
Jim Lund and Lee Riddell
Greg Vogel and Cara Carlman

Ring Bearer Ethan
Flower Girl Olivia
Flower Girl Madeline

Papa Len escorts Christa down the aisle.


Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today under the rockiest of peaks to celebrate the most joyous of days. On this very morning, Dave and Christa will join themselves in the happiest of matrimonies. We are here to share in that celebration of life and love. Today, we will blend new hope with an old tradition. Together with Dave and Christa, we acknowledge the seriousness of their commitment, the height of their aspirations and the depth of their love. And we share in their confidence for the future.

The “we” that is gathered here today is truly a special “we.” “We” are the friends and family that Dave and Christa have come to love and trust. It must certainly be said that they would not be here today without us. Family, especially the beaming parents in our front row, Marilynn and Angie and Len, nurtured Dave and Christa into fine human beings. And friends, especially those from Fort Collins, helped cultivate their relationship from day one.

But there are certainly many people who cannot be here...in this place, at this time, to share in this moment. Many people who are dear to Dave and Christa. And many people who are dear to you, people who you would love to share this moment with, if only you had the opportunity. I offer you this minute to cherish those people.

By saying “We do,” who gathers here today to join Dave and Christa in joyous celebration of their marriage? “We do!” Who gathers here today to reflect their spirit of love, fellowship and inclusion? “We do!” And who here promises to support Dave and Christa today, tomorrow and all the days after? “We do!”

On behalf of Dave and Christa, thank you for being here today. Thank you for supporting them today, and all the days before this day and all the days after. Thank you for being you.

If you’ll humor me, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Jeremy, although that’s often reduced to the single letter J. I have to admit that I’m hardly unbiased in my relationship to the couple. Christa is far my favorite. You see, I know Dave and his “uniquenesses” all too well from our days at the University of Wisconsin. We have lived together twice and worked together twice in almost ten years of friendship. Christa comes with far less baggage...plus she gave me this ridiculously good-looking haircut.

Just like Dave and Christa, this is my first wedding. You might rightly be wondering what website I went to and what link I clicked in order to preside over this ceremony. But I’m not here today as some part of an Internet scheme. I’m not here as a minister; I’m not here as an officer of the court. I’m here simply as a friend with a way for words. The great state of Colorado deems every man and every woman capable of solemnizing their own marriage contract. In that way, Colorado recognizes marriage as a personal pact, just as much as an administrative status or a religious act. Dave and Christa themselves will be the people to make their marriage official this morning, and I think that’s just the way they like it.


But first, in between a pair of readings, I would like to share with you the symbolism of this place. Then, after a song and a soliloquy, Dave and Christa will share their vows. As we bless their union, Dave and Christa will become husband and wife and exchange rings. And, well, we all know what happens after that...

Now, it’s a pleasure to welcome Matt D’Amour. Dave calls Matt a traveling companion, a partner and a confidant. Christa confirms that Dave’s voice rises, just a little bit, every time he talks with Matt on the phone.


We, the dearly beloved, are gathered here today at the Happy Heart Farm, a very special “here” to Dave and Christa.

The owners of Happy Heart Farm are true pioneers. Dennis and Bailey bought this land 25 years ago. They created the first CSA, the first community-supported agriculture farm in the state of Colorado. CSAs build a community around the richness of the land, centered on the many benefits of local, organic food. Today, over a hundred members enjoy the bounty of this patch of land. This week, for example, marks the climax of a basil crop that Christa calls “nearly world famous.” From cucumbers in the summer to pumpkins in the fall, Happy Heart members eat well all year round.

Christa was one of those members – a working member, at that - when she met Dave in October of 2006. Working members give three hours a week during the planting and harvesting season in exchange for a reduced membership rate. Befitting two adventuring souls, Dave and Christa met at REI. When Dave found out that Christa was a member of a CSA, he knew he had his “in.” He asked for a tour, and Christa obliged. Since then, Dave and Christa have grown close at this farm. They share a membership and the meals it provides. And just as much, they value the community of friendship formed here.

And it was here that Dave proposed. As he joked to Dennis before the big day, “I’m going to come out to the farm to do some kneedropping, but I’m not gonna be picking weeds.” Last February, Dave planned a romantic bike ride for two, down the road to Boulder and back. The real purpose wasn’t well disguised. Ahead of time, Christa and friends took to calling the bike ride “tour de proposal.” The many mile tour ended right here. Dave brought Christa back to the Farm, coming full circle, and proposed. One journey ended, but another began, right here under this very tree.

Now, I’m delighted to introduce Linda Kengott. Christa and Linda were neighbors when Christa was growing up in Illinois. Christa is happy to call Linda a very special influence.


And now I would invite a song by Christa’s sister, Susan Carlman. Christa has always admired Susan’s musical talent, and is honored to have her sing “A Wedding Song,” by Bob Dylan.



In her outline on what she wanted this morning’s ceremony to look like, Christa called this small section “J’s Thoughts.” A dangerous invitation, indeed. And even before then, last winter, I was flattered to get a two sentence e-mail from Dave. “Thinking about marriage. Thoughts?” A dangerous solicitation, indeed. I’m no expert on love. And I’m no authority on marriage. But I have a thought on both.

Dave is wrong. A household of the finest men I know is wrong, and has been for years. And I, too, was wrong.

For years, we preached the gospel of the four queens: Go big or go home. Sheepshead is Wisconsin’s favorite card game. We trust in a simple strategy: if you don’t throw your biggest trump card, someone else is going to sweep in and take all the points away from you.

But I have come to learn that life isn’t necessarily go big OR go home. This marriage is an example that the principle isn’t always an “either or” proposition. Instead, this marriage is about going big AND going home.

Dave and Christa are going big. They’ve decided on the biggest commitment possible. Embracing love. Investing their energies in another person, in the space between two people. The chips all in.

And Dave and Christa are going home. Not to Illinois, of course, I imagine they like the mountains far too much to do that anytime soon. More like creating a home. Building the physical and emotional space necessary to live in comfort and happiness.

Congratulations to both of you. You two are so much of what our generation looks for in a couple. Together, you are healthy and balanced. You are aware of yourselves and the world around you. You are strong, but playful. Together, you charm and challenge those around you in just the right ways.

I offer you no advice. I give you no expectations. I wish you not good will nor mal or either. You hardly need my goodwill with so much love surrounding you today. Instead, I wish simply that all your journeys be flush with wine and conversation, be they adventures up the Poudre or beyond. Go big AND go home, my friends.


Dave and Christa, before you solemnize your marriage and exchange rings, please join hands and share your vows, so that we may all witness your intention to bind yourselves fully, undeniably and evermore in marriage.

Today we promise to dedicate ourselves completely to each other, with body, speech, and mind. We announce and declare our intention to give one another our deepest friendship and love. When we love we should not say, "God is in our heart," but rather, "We are in the heart of God." And think not we can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds us worthy, directs our course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. But if we love, and must needs have desires, let these be our desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night; To know the pain of too much tenderness; To be wounded by our own understanding of love and to bleed willingly and joyfully; To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving; To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; To return home at eventide with gratitude; And then to sleep with a prayer for all beloved in our hearts...and a song of praise upon our lips (together).


As Dave and Christa solemnize their marriage, please join in the Apache Blessing by repeating after me.

Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both
in the journey ahead and through all the years.
May happiness be your companion
and your days together be good and long upon the earth.


Young Mister Ethan, the rings, please! Dave and Christa, please take these rings you wish to give to one another. These rings are so full of meaning, so full of symbols. Both rings are unending, with no beginning and no end. Wherever you go in life, may you always return to each other.

By giving these rings to each other, you confirm and display your love for each other, your commitment to each other, and your trust in each other as you enter the most intimate and the most challenging of all human relationships. By giving these rings to each other, you choose to take each other freely, wholly and evermore as husband and wife.

Dave, please place this ring on Christa’s finger. Christa, please place this ring on Dave’s finger.

With these symbols of your eternal bond, it is a pleasure to announce you...for the first time...to all the world...as husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Dave and Christa Lund. You may now kiss the bride.