Sunday, August 24, 2003

Mia's wedding- a WordSnap

note: a WordSnap is an invention of mine (I hope) where I describe a photograph but the description extends beyond the frames in both time and space

In the background are the hills of Karmiel, the beautiful hearthland of Israel, such views can only be paid for with 5 hrs travel in a minibus, but once here, effortlessly the soul awakens again, looking at valleys deepening into the distance as the sun pours its heat onto the grape-vine covered shelter we stand under. . In the foreground is the Hupah, just off the steady slope, and Mia, Shai and their parents are standing there facing us, their backs to the scenery. The rabbi has a Blue and white Kippa, which means something, I know but I've forgotten it. Mia is dressed like a princess- the only thing missing is a tiara - and she keeps fighting the wind for control of her veil, and which she traps finally. Shai's shifting his weight from foot to foot, and the Rabbi is reciting the words in a steady low voice, shunning the microphone that a member of the band brought for him. The band-an Irish band- is waiting for their moment:a violinist, a flautist, two guitarists- waiting to jump into the wedding song as soon as the cup has been smashed. Just in front of the Hupah is the young ex-Peruvian photographer, looking absurdly young and self assured, with two imposing cameras dangling from her neck, as she prowls around, crouching now and then, seeking to avoid the sun in her lens, and she is surefooted of her place- no matter who's view of the ceremony is blocked, it is her vision that remains -forever etched in acid. Among the guests beside me are the friends of Mia, who (because of her recent arrival in Israel) are part of the family- the bride's side. A girl off the frame is waiting to clap at every opportunity but this is a different wedding- very laid back, elegant, a ceremony more than a party, and the half hearted claps disturb the peace of the moment rather than enhance it. A member of the catering crew, a girl who will ask me in Arabic if I want coffee , mistaking my Indian Kurta for an arabic costume, is standing just off the frame as well, enjoying a moment's rest before the work starts. It's a beautiful day and though the end of the ceremony is signaled by strains of music, the promise of a good meal and casual conversation on the many divans lying around keeps us there till the end, even though we have many miles to go to reach the desert.