by Naomi Long Madgett
I cannot swear with any certainty
That I will always feel as I do now,
Loving you with the same fierce ecstacy,
Needing the same your lips upon my brow.
Nor can I promise stars forever bright,
Or vow green leaves will never turn to gold.
I cannot see beyond this present night
To say what promises the dawn may hold.
And yet, I know my heart must follow you
High up to hilltops, low through vales of tears,
Through golden days and days of sombre hue.
And love will only deepen with the years,
Becoming sun and shadow, wind and rain,
Wine that grows mellow, bread that will sustain.
Published in A Rock Against the Wind: African-American Poems and Letters of Love and Passion, edited by Lindsay Patterson.
Excerpted from The Alchemist
by Paulo Coehlo
At that moment, it seemed to him that time stood still, and the Soul of the World surged within him. When he looked into her eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke - the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart.
It was Love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met... It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time.
What he felt in that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing... And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only.
Maktub; it is written.
May you live as long as you wish,
and love as long as you live!
Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love
Marriage is a commitment to life,
the best that two people can find and bring out in each other.
It offers opportunities for sharing and growth
that no other relationship can equal.
It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of its love,
marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships.
A wife and a husband are each other's best friend,
confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic.
And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing,
and the love of the other may resemble
the tender caring of a parent or child.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.
Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher,
commitment is stronger,
even anger is felt more strongly,
and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid.
It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, new ways of expressing...
When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage,
they create a spirit unique unto themselves
which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.
Marriage is a promise,
a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other,
and takes a lifetime to fulfill.
Advice from a Tree
by Ilan Shamir
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to Let Go in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Earth, fresh air, light
Drink plenty of water
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!
Established as Priestly Blessing in Jewish tradition, regarded as Solemn Blessing #9 in Catholic tradition, and the inspiration behind the Vulcan Salute in the original Star Trek series, this ritual blessing is grounded in the text of Numbers 6:23-27:
May the LORD bless you and guard you –
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you –
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace –
From Goodridge Vs. Department of Health
Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, MA Supreme Court
Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations....Without question, civil marriage enhances the "welfare of the community," [is] a "social institution of the highest importance"… [and] bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family.... Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition.
Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face.
In my mind I had waited for this long,
Seeing the false and searching for the true,
Then found you as a traveler finds a place of welcome
suddenly amid the wrong valleys and rocks and twisting roads.
But you, what shall I call you?
A fountain in a waste,
A well of water in a country dry,
Or anything that’s honest and good,
An eye that makes the whole world bright.
Your open heart, simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
The first good world, the blossom, the blowing seed,
The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
Not beautiful or rare in every part.
But like yourself, as they were meant to be.
These I Can Promise
I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.
But I can promise all my heart's devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.
To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.
For this reason young people, who are beginners in everything, cannot yet know love: they have to learn it. With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered close about their lonely, timid, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love... to ripen, to become something... for another’s sake, it is a great exacting claim... that chooses [you] out and calls [you] to vast things.
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now."
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, and a great new danger for both. 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. That is why this too must be the criterion for rejection or choice: whether you are willing to stand guard over someone else's solitude, and whether you are able to set this same person at the gate of your own depths, which he learns of only through what steps forth, in holiday clothing, out of the great darkness.
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...For the more we are, the richer everything we experience is. And those who want to have a deep love in their lives must collect and save for it, and gather honey.
Excerpts from Letters to a Young Poet