~ Marriage Readings ~

From “The Prophet”
by Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

“Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is your board and your fireside. For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you with hold the “aye.” And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart; For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unclaimed.

When you part from your friend, you grieve not; For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.

And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit. For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend. If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also. For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill? Seek him always with hours to live. For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness. And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

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From “Gift From The Sea”
by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (b.1906)

“When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.”

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From “The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance”
by W. Timothy Gallwey

“When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as “rootless and stemless.” We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development. The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.”

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From “A Natural History Of Love”
by Diane Ackerman

“Love. What a small word we use for an idea so immense and powerful. It has altered the flow of history, calmed monsters, kindled works of art, cheered the forlorn, turned tough guys to mush, consoled the enslaved, driven strong women mad, glorified the humble, fueled national scandals, bankrupted robber barons, and made mincemeat of kings. How can love’s spaciousness be conveyed in the narrow confines of one syllable? Love is an ancient delirium, a desire older than civilization, with taproots spreading into deep and mysterious days. The heart is a living museum. In each of its galleries, no matter how narrow or dimly lit, preserved forever like wondrous diatoms, are our moments of loving, and being loved.”

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From “All I Really Need To Know, I Learned In Kindergarten”
by Robert Fulghum

“All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.

All I Really Need To Know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life – learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die.
So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your
family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
Think what a better world it would be if all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about
three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.
Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put thing back where
they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you
are – when you go out into the world, it is best
to hold hands and stick together.”

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From “The Prophet”
by Kahlil Gibran

“Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
and a song of praise on your lips.”

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From “The Strength To Love”
by Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The meaning of love is not to be confused with some sentimental outpouring. Love is something much more than emotional bosh… An overflowing love which seeks nothing in return,[agape] is the love of God operating in the human heart… Love is the most durable power in the world. This creative force, so beautifully exemplified in the life of our Christ, is the most potent instrument available in mankind’s quest for peace and security… The great military leaders of the past have gone, and their empires have crumbled and burned to ashes. But the empire of Jesus, built solidly and majestically on the foundation of love, is still growing.”

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From “Know Thyself, Know Thyself More Deeply”
by D.H. Lawrence

“Go deeper than love, for the soul has greater depths,
love is like the grass, but the heart is deep wild rock
molten, yet dense and permanent.
Go down to your deep old heart, and lose sight of yourself.
And lose sight of me, the me whom you turbulently loved.
Let us lose sight of ourselves, and break the mirrors.
For the fierce curve of our lives is moving again to the depths
out of sight, in the deep living heart.”

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From “A Song for Hyawatha”

“Come join us in celebration, those who love sunshine on meadow
Who love shadow of the forest,
love the wind among the branches and the palisades of pine trees,
and the thunder in the mountains whose innumerable echoes
flap like eagles in their eries.

Listen to this song of marriage.
How, from another tribe and country came a young man saying,
“give me as my wife this maiden, and our hands be clasped more closely,
and our hearts be more united.”

Thus it is, our daughters leave us, those we love and those who love us.
When a youth with flaunting feathers beckons to the fairest maiden.

From the sky the sun benignant looked upon them through the branches, Saying to them,
“oh, my children life is checkered shade and sunshine.”

The two figures man and woman Standing hand in hand together,
with their hands so clasped together that they seem in one united.
And the words thus represented are, “I see your heart within you.”

Sing them songs of love and longing
Now, let’s feast and be more joyous.”

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From “The Velveteen Rabbit”
by Marjory Williams

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were
lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came
to tidy the room. “Does it mean having
things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a
thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long,
long time, not just to play with, but Really
loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always
truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked,
“or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You
become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen
often to people who break easily, or have sharp
edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the
time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and
your eyes drop out and you get all loose in
the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at
all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to
people who don’t understand.”

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From “The Prophet”
By Kahlil Gibran

“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
‘Speak to us of Children.’
And he said:
‘Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

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From “The Last Temptation of Christ”
By Nikos Kazantzakis

“When the kings had died, a pauper, barefoot and hungry, came and sat on the throne. ‘God’ he whispered, ‘the eyes of man cannot bear to look directly at the sun, for they are blinded. How then, Omnipotent, can they look directly at you? Have pity, Lord; temper your strength, turn down your splendor so that I, who am poor and afflicted may see you!’ Then – listen, old man – God became a piece of bread, a cup of cool water, a warm tunic, a hut, and in front of the hut, a woman feeding an infant. ‘Thank you, Lord,’ he whispered. ‘You have humbled yourself for my sake. You became bread, water, a warm tunic and my wife and son in order that I may see you. And I did see you. I bow down and worship your beloved many-faced face!'”

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From “Union”
by Robert Fulghum

“You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will” – those late night talks that included “someday and somehow and maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife “

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From “Corelli’s Mandolin”
by Louise De Bernieres

“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion… That is just being “in love,” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”

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From “Everything is Illumanated”
by Jonathan Safran Foer

The 120 Marriages of Joseph and Sarah L

The young couple first married on August 5, 1744, when Joseph was eight and Sarah six, and first ended their marriage six days later when Joseph refused to believe, to Sarah’s frustration, that the stars were silver nails in the sky, pinning up the black nightscape. They remarried four days later, when Joseph left a note under the door of Sarah’s parents’ house: I have considered everything you told me, and I do believe that the stars are silver nails. They ended their marriage again a year later, when Joseph was nine and Sarah seven, over a quarrel about the nature of the bottom of the river bed. A week later, they were remarried, including this time in their vows that they should love each other until death, regardless of the existence of the riverbed, the temperature of the river bed’s bottom (should it exist), and the possible existence of starfish on the possibly existing riverbed. They ended their marriage one hundred and twenty times throughout their lives and each time remarried with a longer list of vows. They were sixty and fifty-eight at their last marriage, only three weeks before Sarah died of heart failure and Joseph drowned himself in the bath. Their marriage contract still hangs over the door of the house they on-and-off shared-nailed to the top post and brushing against the SHALOM welcome mat:

“It is with everlasting devotion that we, Joseph and Sarah L, reunite in the indestructible union of matrimony, promising love until death, with the understanding that the stars are silver nails in the sky, regardless of the existence of the bottom of the river, the temperature of this bottom (should it exist) and the possible existence of starfish on the possibly existing riverbed, overlooking what may or may not have been accidental grape juice spills, agreeing to forget that Joseph played sticks and balls with his friends when he promised he would help Sarah thread the needle for the quilt she was sewing, and that Sarah was supposed to give the quilt to Joseph, not his buddy, ignoring the simple fact that Joseph snores like a pig, and that Sarah is no great treat to sleep with either, letting slide certain tendencies of both parties to look too long at members of the opposite sex, not making a fuss over why Joseph is such a slob, leaving his clothes wherever he feels like taking them off, expecting Sarah to pick them up, clean them, and put them in their proper place as he should have, or why Sarah has to be such a pain about the smallest things, such as which way the toilet paper unrolls, or when dinner is five minutes later than she was planning, because, let’s face it, it’s Joseph who’s putting that paper on the roll and dinner on the table, disregarding whether the beet is a better vegetable that the cabbage, putting aside the problems of being fat-headed and chronically unreasonable, trying to erase the memory of a long since expired rose bush that a certain someone was supposed to remember to water when his wife was visiting family, accepting the compromise of the way we have been, the way we are, and the way we will likely be. May we live together in unwavering love and good health. Amen”

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“Oh the Places You’ll Go”
by Dr Seuss

“Congratulations! Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the couple who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “We don’t choose to go there.”
With your heads full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
You’re too smart to go down, any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there in the wide open air,
Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

OH! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to great heights!
You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have all the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang, and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t. Because sometimes, you won’t.
You’ll get mixed up of course, as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up with so many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with great care and great tact
and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

KIDS, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So, be your name Buxbaum or Dowrie or Bass
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to great places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So get on your way!”

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From “Letters To A Young Poet”
by Rainer Maria Rilke

Marriage is in many ways a simplification of life, and it naturally combines the strengths and wills of two young people so that, together, they seem to reach farther into the future than they did before. Above all, marriage is a new task and a new seriousness, – a new demand on the strength and generosity of each partner.

The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of their solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side by side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.

Life is self-transformation, and human relationships, which are an extract of life, are the most changeable of all, they rise and fall from minute to minute, and lovers are those for whom no moment is like any another. People between whom nothing habitual ever takes place, nothing that has already existed, but just what is new, unexpected, unprecedented. There are such connections, which must be a very great, an almost unbearable happiness, but they can occur only between very rich beings, between those who have become, each for his own sake, rich, calm, and concentrated; only if two worlds are wide and deep and individual can they be combined….

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From “Instructions For Life In The New Millennium”
by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

“Take into account that great love
and great achievements involve great risk.
And that a loving atmosphere in your home
is the foundation for your life.
Be gentle with the earth, be gentle with one another.
When disagreements come remember always
to protect the spirit of your union.
When you realize you’ve made a mistake,
take immediate steps to correct it.
Remember that the best relationship is one
in which your love for each other
exceeds your need for each other.
So love yourselves, love one another,
love all that is your life together and all else will follow.”

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From “The Red Tent”
by Anita Diamant

“Isaac my father, told me that he had never taken any woman to his bed but my mother. Rebecca had welcomed him with tenderness and passion when they were first married because as her groom, he treated her as though she were the Queen of Heaven and he her Consort. Their joining was the union of the sea and the sky, of the rain and the parched earth, of night and day, wind and water. Their nights were filled with stars and sighs as they played the part of Goddess and God. Their touches engendered a thousand dreams. They slept in each others arms every night that was possible from that night on. That was my father’s teaching about husbands and wives said Jacob, my father, to Leah, my mother, on their first night together.”

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Excerpt from “The Bridge Across Forever”
by Richard Bach

“A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.”

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Adapted from “Plato’s Symposium”

“Humans have never understood the power of Love, for if they had they would surely have built noble temples and altars and offered solemn sacrifices; but this is not done, and most certainly ought to be done, since Love is our best friend, our helper, and the healer of ills.

Once upon a time, human beings each had two sets of arms, two sets of legs, and two faces looking in opposite directions. Due to the power of these original humans, the gods began to fear that their reign might be threatened. So, in a manner not unlike the powers that be do so today, Zeus divided the humans in half. He split their power, so that he and the other gods may do what they wish.

But the gods are not completely efficient. After the division the two parts of each desiring their other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one. This parable is meant to evoke how ancient is the desire of one another implanted in us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of humankind.

When separated, having one side only, we are always looking for our other half. And when one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment. We should pass our whole lives together, desiring that we should be melted into one, to spend our lives as one person instead of two, and so that after our death there will be one departed soul instead of two; this is the very expression of our ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love.

If you are both willing to make real the ideals that confer meaning onto your vow to see differences as a means to a more inclusive and universal Love, join hands and make known your love.”

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Adapted from“To My Wife”
by T.S. Eliot

“Be to whom each owes the leaping delight
That quickens the senses in your waking time
And the rhythm that governs the repose of sleeping time,
The breathing in unison

Of lives whose bodies smell of each other
Who think the same thoughts without need of speech
And babble the same speech without the need of meaning

No peevish winter wind shall chill
No sullen tropic sun shall wither
The roses in the rose-garden which is yours and yours only.”

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From “The Irrational Season”
by Madeleine L’Engle

“But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take… It is indeed a fearful gamble…Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.

To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation… It takes a lifetime to learn another person… When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.”

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From “Maktub”
by Palo Coelho

“In this world there is always
one person waiting for another,
be it in the middle of a desert
or in the middle of a big city.
And when those people pass each other
and their eyes meet,
past and future lose all importance,
and the only thing that exists
is that moment and the incredible certainty
that everything under the sun
was written by the same Hand,
the Hand that awakens Love,
and that makes a twin soul for everyone who works,
rests and seeks treasure under the sun.
Without this our human dreams
would make no sense.”

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From “The Little Prince”
by Antoine de Saint Exupery

“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. So the little prince tamed the fox. And the fox said, “And now here is my secret. a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

“It is the time I have wasted for my rose -”
said the little price so that he would be sure to remember.

“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.”

“I am responsible for my rose,” the little prince repeated. So that he would be sure to remember.

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From “Jazz”
by Toni Morrison

“It’s nice when grown people whisper to each other under the covers. Their ecstasy is more leaf-sigh than bray and the body is the vehicle, not the point. They reach, grown people, for something beyond, way beyond and way, way down underneath tissue. They are remembering while they whisper the carnival doll they won and the Baltimore boats they never sailed on. The pears they let hang on the limb because if they plucked them, they would be gone from there and who else would see that ripeness if they took it away for themselves? How could anybody passing by see them and imagine for themselves what the flavor would be like? Breathing and murmuring under covers both of them have washed and hung out on the line, in a bed they chose together and kept together never mind one leg was propped on a 1916 dictionary and the mattress, curved like a preacher’s palm asking for witnesses in His names’s sake, enclosed them each and every night and muffled their whispering, old-time love. They are under the covers because they don’t have to look at themselves anymore; there is no stud’s eye, no chippie glance to undo them. They are inward toward the other, bound and joined by carnival dolls and the steamers that sailed from ports they never saw. That is what is beneath their undercover whispers.

But there is another part, not so secret. The part that touches fingers when one passes the cup and saucer to the other. The part that closes her neckline snap while waiting for the trolley, and brushes lint from his blue serge suit when they come out of the movie house into the sunlight.

I envy them their public love. I myself have only known it in secret, shared it in secret and longed, aw longed to show it – to be able to say out loud what they have no need to say at all: That I have loved only you, surrendered my whole self reckless to you and nobody else. That I want you to love me back and show it to me. I like your fingers on and on, lifting, turning. I have watched your face for a long time now, and missed your eyes when you went away from me. Talking to you and hearing you answer – that’s the kick.”

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From “To Know Yourself”
by Swami Satchidananda

“A wedding is between two reflections of God. Two pairs of eyes see one vision. They are dedicated to serve one another and the humanity at large. Two minds come together to help each other realize their true nature. Going side by side with the right partner is a good way to reach God quickly. When the husband’s and the wife’s love for each other blends together and becomes love of God, marriage is a divine institution.”

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Excerpt from “A Gift From The Sea”
by Ann Morrow Lindbergh

“A good relationship has a pattern like dance. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate, but swift and free. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand. Because they know they are partners, moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it. The joy of such a pattern is not only the joy of creation, or the joy of participation, it is also the joy of living in the moment. One cannot dance well unless one is completely in time with the music, not leaning back to the last step, or pressing forward to the next one, but poised directly on the present step as it comes. But how does one learn this technique of the dance? Why is it so difficult? What makes us hesitate and stumble? It is fear, I think, that makes one cling nostalgically to the last moment, or clutch greedily toward the next. Fear can only be exorcised by its opposite… love. When the heart is flooded with love there is no room in it for fear, for doubt, for hesitation.

And it is this lack of fear that makes for the dance. The partners only know that they love, and are moving to its music.”

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From “The Divine Comedy”
by Dante Alligeri

“The love of God, unutterable and perfect,
Flows into a pure soul the way that light
Rushes into a transparent object.

The more love that it finds, the more it gives
Itself; so that, as we grow clear and open,
The more complete the joy of loving is.

And the more souls who resonate together,
The greater the intensity of their love,
For, mirror-like, each soul reflects the others.”

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From the Icelandic Sagas

“This comes from a retelling of the Sagas that was written in 1909.
It is the ending to the story of Ingebjorg and Frithiof. They were
lovers who, in the true romantic style, had to overcome the crosses
of birth right and station in life, the objections and concerns of
family, and the trials of the hero’s journey. It was a journey that
their love and their will to be together, would ultimately set them
forth on. In the end, with their woes healed and their obstacles
overcome, her hand was finally put into his to be his wife, and I
quote from there:

`Thus steps of sorrow
Had led them to the height of happiness
That poets love to sing.
Paths thick with thorns had blossomed into roses,
Wreaths of everlasting flowers
Had crowned the winter snows.
And midst the lights and shadows of the old Northland,
Their lives flowed on, like two united streams
That roll through quiet pastures
To the ocean of eternity.’

May our Bride and Groom’s trials also be behind them, and may their future be as blessed as those in the myths and tales of old.”

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by Carl Sandburg:

I love you for what you are,
but I love you yet more for what
you are going to be.
I love you not so much for your realities
as for your ideals.
I pray for your desires that they may be great,
rather than for your satisfactions,
which may be so hazardously little.
A satisfied flower is one whose petals are about to fall.
The most beautiful rose is one hardly more than a bud
Where in the pangs and ecstasies of desire
are working for a larger and finer growth.
Not always shall you be what you are now.
You are going forward toward something great.
I am on the way with you and
therefore I love you.”

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“Walt Whitman wrote:

“All truths wait in all things…
The insignificant is as big to me as any,
What is less or more than a touch?”

Today, in the midst of Autumn, we celebrate
the Spring of your lives.

As you journey through the seasons, shared moments will knit together the passing months
and years. We hope for you infinite beginnings, infinite possibilities. The promise of Spring
grows with each shared touch.

No matter what difficulties may arise, we wish for you a spiritual spring from which to
begin again. Love is infinitely gentle, kind and compassionate.

You are the measure of life in each other’s hearts, springing eternally – a fountain of music
we will listen to eagerly.

The songs of this new life of yours will take form and sing out one note at a time – just like the music you create and perform together which we love so dearly.”

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From “Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith”
by Frederick Buechner

“They say they will love, comfort, honor each other to the end of their days. They say they will cherish each other and be faithful to each other always. They say they will do these things not just when they feel like it, but even — for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health — when they don’t feel like it at all. In other words, the vows they make could hardly be more extravagant. They give away their freedom. They take on themselves each other’s burdens. They bind their lives together… The question is, what do they get in return?

They get each other in return… There will always be the other to talk to, to listen to… There is still someone to get through the night with, to wake into the new day beside. If they have children, they can give them, as well as each other, roots and wings. If they don’t have children, they each become the other’s child.

They both still have their lives apart as well as a life together. They both still have their separate ways to find. But a marriage made in heaven is one where a man and a woman become more richly themselves together than the chances are either of them could ever have managed to become alone.”

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From “Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom”
by John O’Donohue

“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.”