Tag Archives: weddings

Lesson from a Wedding Weekend: The Celebration of Life

This crazy little thing called life teaches us some stuff. I’ve come to believe two things fairly concretely.

  • Life is God’s greatest gift to humanity.
  • Love is our greatest celebration of that gift.


My old buddy Michael got married this past weekend. I’ve tried to wrap my thoughts around the meaning of it all for some months now. On a pessimistic, impersonal level, it’s just a wedding. They’re only slightly more significant than birthdays. But this wasn’t impersonal. I was a groomsman, and I needed to wrap my thoughts around it in a more concrete manner.

I briefly entertained a mostly plagiarized thesis about the best relationships giving us roots and wings, trying to force it into the perspective of Michael always treating others with the strength of stable practicality and blending it with the kindness of optimistic dreams. It’s a rare combination, and while true, it also felt like I was missing the point. I wasn’t invited to the wedding because I have anything poignant to say about love. I was there because I knew Michael. That relationship was my portion of this love-day, my license to celebrate life.

When we were 15 years old, Michael and I talked about what tattoos we’d like to get. He wanted to get a tattoo of the word “HEART” placed on his chest, right over his heart. I’m glad he didn’t do this because all I could envision was him being the most ripped deuschebag running into the wave pool of Kansas City’s renowned Oceans of Fun. But I’m glad he told me he wanted it, because it defines something about my friend that I’ve known to be true for a long time. The guy gives 100% of himself. He’s the best avatar of “in for an inch, in for a mile” I’ve ever met, and if that picture at the top of this post doesn’t sell it, then this video sure as heck should. He’s obviously all in.

Love, the celebration of our lives, is experienced in a hyper-personal way. I’m an analytical guy, and that nature often causes me to put everything in a viewing glass, far from hands on. Farther from an engaged heart. I talked about tattoos, I’d never experience one. Well, shame on me. My takeaway from Michael’s wedding is something he always knew. You have to be close, passionate and raw if you’re going to love. And in doing so, it’s your best chance to break the metaphysical boundaries, to say “thank you” to God for giving you a life.

This is the banner picture on my co-blogger Tommy’s Facebook page:


He gets it too. It’s more of a pledge than a picture. Let’s all get on board.

Thinking of picking up a purple jumpsuit,
Dusty “Raw” Riedesel

Life Is A Spectator Sport

I’ve recently become aware that I’ve spent the majority of my life as a spectator.  This is a sad realization.  And it’s one I should have had sooner.  It’s the realization that I’ve taken the majority of my time to attend venues or events where I’m of lesser, if not least, importance than others.  The only solace I feel in this realization is that it’s not one I’ve suffered alone.  What am I talking about exactly?

Did you ever play a sport you weren’t good at?  And instead of spending your time in an area of your gifts like computer programming, you just show up season after season for your place on the bench? You may be on the team, but you’re a spectator.

Ever been to a wedding?  An event that begs your attendance merely to enjoy someone else’s enjoyment?  Even if you make time with a bridesmaid, you’re a spectator.  Ironically, crashing a wedding does not make you a spectator, but it probably makes you weird.

Do you like going to Chiefs’ games? Then you’re cool.  Do you like going to Cowboys’ games?  Even when Romo was Aikman, you were a spectator.

The people worth doing are off doing worthwhile things.  Write that down.  Turns out that watching Battlestar Galactica on Netflix with popcorn dust stuck in your chesthair doesn’t qualify.  Can’t keep being a spectator.

Have you ever seen another guy leave the room with the girl you didn’t talk to? You’re a spectator.  But don’t beat yourself up.  She was probably fat/ugly/club-thumbed/big-footed/mousy-looking/cankled/snaggletoothed anyway.

Have you ever spent your lunch hours reading a book instead of writing one? You’re a spectator.

Have you ever watched someone star in a summer blockbuster?  Yes.  Have you ever starred in a summer blockbuster?  No.  You’re a spectator.

Watch sports? Plays? Slam poetry? Yes.  Participate? No. You’re a spectator.

Thing is, that’s life.  Nobody shows up to watch me dial my sales phone or do my monthly load of laundry.  For most of us, that’s the way it is.  Because that’s the work of our life.  What do we do for sport? We spectate.  But every now and then, we get our moment in the sun.

Ever read the blog of a guy who spends most of his life spectating.  You’re eyes feel so good, spectator.