|Our Wedding Cake Topper, 1983|
I've only been to North Carolina once, when I was a teenager. Dad bundled us all into the Volvo and drove us down to the Outer Banks to see the total eclipse of the sun. It was fabulous, it was divine. The sun grew dimmer and darker and then it went black except for the little light ridgy bits on the outside, which astronomers call the "tiara." I'd just learned how to play guitar and that's what I was doing while we were waiting for the sun to act up. I was probably playing "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen. It only had four chords. Leonard Cohen was thought to be a great songwriter due to his inability to sing. We all thought it was a dreamy and cool song, because she touched your perfect body with her mind. We didn't really know what that meant, but poets were always writing about their minds back then, when we still had them.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a series of long barrier islands that were put up to keep the ocean out. They scrabbled themselves up sometime after the last Ice Age, although nobody's really clear how. If they hadn't existed, the good citizens of North Carolina could always have written them into their Constitution. The ocean is big and powerful and scary and it is only proper of the citizenry to protect itself from it. The barrier islands work pretty well most of the time but they are prone to destruction from hurricanes. There are more and stronger hurricanes all the time, and there will be until someone works up a good amendment about them.
North Carolina's new amendment was an important definition to put in the Constitution because the state of marriage is in disarray due to incursions from homosexual people who would just disappear if they weren't always being encouraged, and it needs to be protected, in the same way apple pie needs to be protected from nutmeg.
I have a constitution of my own, although it's just written down in what's left of my mind. And I've had to amend it to define North Carolina as a beautiful state I won't be visiting until the sun comes back. Which it will. You can't keep the sun from shining, and you can't stop a hurricane.