I’ve been out of touch the last few weeks, and am still in Novi Sad, yet things are markedly different for me. I don’t mean book deals or anything like that, but my marital status. Yesterday evening, in a room in a Novi Sad government building, Slavica and I put the final official stamp on what our relationship has essentially been for years—a marriage.
It was a lovely ceremony, which I didn’t really expect from a civil office, and the vows were remarkably progressive. They were written by DuÅ¡an RadoviÄ‡, a poet who, sick of the “official” wedding vows, used his influence to have his own made official.
Though I don’t have the English version with me (an interpreter was on hand to let me know what I was agreeing to), I remember that one part of it effectively told me to “Forget about what the law says about marriage; if your union is defined by the laws of the land, then it’s not worth having. It’s up to you to define what marriage is.” A beautiful sentiment, I thought.
Afterward, ten or so of us went out of town to SalaÅ¡ 137. SalaÅ¡ means something like “farmhouse”, and in this area they’re set up like little retreats, each given a number rather than a name. They set up some country-style rooms, have horses on tap, batches of farm dogs, and a lot of really good local (Vojvodina) food. The house wine was excellent, and so was the company.
Anyway, I have no wisdom to impart, no tales of Balkan excess, just that nice feeling that comes with some of those big moments in your life, that makes you think it might all turn out all right after all.
(Originally posted at the Contemporary Nomad)