I was reading a novel (about a magician) the other day and happened upon an incident in which the hero mentions that he doesn’t really believe in ostentatious ceremonies. His mentor, in celebrating his protégé’s achievement of the rank of magician, responds. The author describes it thusly:
She cupped his larger hands in her pale, small ones. “I admonish you, then, not to stop here. Continue achieving. Advancing. Fulfilling your potential, because I see a great deal of it in you. There are many in the world who will try to stifle it, because of jealousy or because they think it is not the way of things, but they are wrong. You and I are more similar than you might think, Bacchus Kelsey. And while it may not be your goal to join the Assembly of the London Physical Atheneum, you should always have a goal. Do you understand me?”
— Spellbreaker, by Charlie N. Holmberg
There is magic in ceremonies, even small, unpretentious, ones. I did not appreciate that when I was younger, when I was more rebellious and establishing my individuality. The reasons for that are likely coincidental. It probably began when I left high school in the middle of eleventh grade to participate in a scholarly expedition to Togo, West Africa. When I returned at the end of the summer, I’d already been invited to matriculate at college. So I never graduated from high school.
I Skipped My Law School Graduation
I completed my studies at Yale in December 1976, and, back then, winter graduations were so uncommon that they were celebrated in June with all the rest of that class. Well, by then I was working on Waikiki Beach, saving up money to pay for Georgetown Law. No way was I flying back 5000 miles for that graduation.
The next meaningful event in my life was my graduation from law school. But I was already in Paris, celebrating my limited vacation between the end of my schooling and the beginning of a job to pay back my student loans. I missed that momentous event, as well.
My disinterest in celebrations and ceremonies was brought to an abrupt halt by one of my clients, who understood that marking a change in status, a momentous occasion, had inherent value.
Should You Celebrate Your Divorce? Or Your Fresh Start?
Think about it. How did you celebrate your marriage? Was it a big wedding? Did lots of people attend? Your family? His family? Your friends? His friends? Were there lots of gifts and cards and well wishes? Was it a joyous occasion that celebrated the change in your status from single to married?
So what ceremony is sufficient to mark your divorce from one who was an intrinsic part of your life for. . . how many years? From one who is the other parent to the children you share? From one who shared so much of your history with you?
What ceremony will work for you, to mark the past and to initiate the fresh start that your divorce symbolizes?
If want to find meaning in the end of your marriage, as well as to maximize the value of your fresh start, reach out to me at Joryn@OpenPalmLaw.com or find me at OpenPalmLaw, where we are changing the way the world gets divorced!
Learn more about collaborative divorce. Follow Open Palm Law.
Need advice now? Contact Joryn!
About this week’s author, Joryn Jenkins.
Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, two of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed in the United States Supreme Court upon those who have provided exceptional leadership in the American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.