In May I’m a bridesmaid. Fortunately for me, I have not been asked to wear a pink, ruffley taffeta monstrosity… but I have been asked to do a reading.
I take these kinds of responsibilities very seriously. I have considered the couple, considered what else will be read (something Biblical) and considered the enormity of marriage. You see, I’m old fashioned in this way,
I love marriage. I believe in it. I believe that it is more than just living together. I believe it ought to be taken very seriously and that it ought to be celebrated.
So what will I read? For awhile I was tempted to go down the light-hearted route – a little Oh the Places You May Go by Dr Seuss … but the wedding adaptations that have been made just don’t cut it. Cute, humorous but not great.
And then I looked at what was read at our wedding – a poem written for us, and this excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin:
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 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.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.
(which I still love)
But I wasn’t sure if they’d love it, or if it’s just my thing.
So currently, the favourite is:
To Love is Not to Possess
To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.
What do you think? What would you read?