Big Sur Wedding

May 25, 2010


I fell in love with Big Sur as a senior in high school. I discovered two books: “Gestalt Therapy Verbatim” and “In and Out of the Garbage Pale” both by Dr Frederick Perls–aka Fritz Perls. He looked kind of like a Jewish Santa. Mischievous, outgoing, pushy, loving, confident, outrageous, and ultimately a very smart man. My take on gestalt therapy was that it is an unhealthy thing to build on an unstable foundation–a principle in architecture, Christianity and in life.

I never went to the Esalen Institute or participated in any therapy, I only read Fritz’s two books. In a session, he would bring a person up to chat with him, almost like a TV talk show –in front of an audience. Through dialog, he would find the person’s UNFINISHED BUSINESS and work on it, trying to FINISH it. I found the philosophy cathartic.

By former partner, Bruce, an avid bicyclist, and I traveled to Big Sur many years ago and did some insane mountain biking up and down those steep hills. That was my first experience visiting that magical place.

Last weekend, Daniel and I attended Nate and Katie’s Big Sur wedding. Even though I have sworn off camping for the rest of my life, we were booked in a “cabin” at a campground that had a heater, bed and private bath. I still am puzzled why people love to camp out and surround themselves with suffocating campfire smoke. It’s so polluting and just gross.

As my husband was officiating the wedding, I, with Matias and Jenny (above) scoured the area for warm clothes. Matias and I found hats at the Phoenix shop, beneath Nepenthe. Buses took the wedding party 15 miles down the coast, south of Esalen, to the wedding site. The trip was terrifying to many, staring down sheer cliffs to the amazing aquamarine ocean below. I prayed that our bus driver wouldn’t have a heart attack en route (he didn’t). When we got there, the site and view were breath-taking. The temperature was in the 50s and dropping and the wind was probably at 30 mph. BRRRRRR. All of a sudden, all the women in their gorgeous gowns slipped on their husband’s jean, or coat or blankets. Everyone was freezing cold. The ceremony, even though it was held hanging off a sheer drop, was held on a calm and warm spot. Daniel did a beautiful job, although I asked that he not be tempted to become a full-time minister, and as my grandfather told my father when hearing his son wanted be a minister, he replied: “A minister?? You’ll never make any money doing that!” And besides, one in my family is sufficient. Nate n Katie looked beautiful. I hope they have lots of children and pass on their smarts, beauty and personality to future generations.

The landowner built a huge bonfire that everyone immediately crowded around. Katie was concerned that people were not having a good time: wrong, they were, it was just a bit cold. The groomsmen looked like a group from the British Invasion (Manfred Man?), and they posed with the bridesmaids and newlyweds for all kinds of fun shots (see below). The dinner, even tho the wind was howling and cold, was delicious.

Katie’s father, owner of Coleman Vineyards, shared his wine with the party and most kept warm by drinking lots of it. After much dancing and partying, the group got back on the buses and made their way back up the coast.

It was a fun group: people from Palm, RIIM (Blackberry), Apple, Yahoo, and Google were there. It was a real silicon valley wedding–a foretaste of my retirement, I suspect.

Glad to be back in warm SoCal. Best wishes to you both, Nate n Katie!


[Photos by Wesley Yun]

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