Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres – Extract

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.*

 

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (Touching view of real love)

“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 someone 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 does’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 loose in your 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.”

“I suppose you are Real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.

But the Skin Horse only smiled.

“Someone made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago;

but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again… It lasts for always.”

 

 From This Day Forward unknown author

From this day forward, let us laugh together, and plan together,

let us find our favorite places, and go together…

Let us enjoy the sunshine, and the rain,

being alone together, and in crowds together…

From this day forward, together,

Let us love!

Let Us Walk Together

Let us walk together yet not as one, but such that our shadows are

separate and distinct, such that our souls are unbound and free.

Let us share our time, yet do not give all your time, nor take all of mine

for in order to develop to the fullest, to be free, we must have

solitude and individuality.

Let me wander in solitude, when I need to be alone,

yet be near, when I need you.

Let us share our love.

Give freely of your love, but do not smother me,

my soul must breathe a free air.

Take my love, but do not demand it, for love given of obligation,

is stale and without life.

Let us share our lives.

Share my life, but do not try to shape it.

Let me share your life, but do not let it revolve around me.

Let us share ourselves.

Accept me as I am, do not attempt to change me to fit your dreams.

Respect me for what I am, not for what I was or one day may be.

Share yourself with me, but do not allow me to limit your freedom

or bind your soul.

Let us share our minds, thoughts, goals, values and dreams.

Let us develop these within ourselves without restriction or loss of freedom.

Thus our two free souls, may wander together as they develop in freedom.

As we share our lives, as we walk through life together,

know my love is yours, but not my soul …. for it must be free.

 

A Successful Marriage by Paul Kurtz (Humanist philosopher)

A successful marriage is one where each partner discovers that it is better to give love than to receive it. To truly love another person is to wish that person to develop and flourish in his or her own terms. In a long marriage there will be joy and laughter, but also sadness and sorrow, harmony and discord, as you strive to overcome adversity and fulfil your dreams.

The key value of wedlock is that it allows for intimacy between a woman and a man, who can enjoy each other’s company, share ideals and expectations, confess failures and admit defeats to each other, and yet realise in union the qualities of the good life.

As you build your home, embark upon careers, and raise a family, your marriage can become a work of art in which both of you together give it line and form, colour and tone. You will be challenged every day and in every way to make your marriage work. If you do, it can become a thing of beauty, a joint creation of aesthetic”

 

Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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.

 

The Art of Marriage by Wilfred A. Peterson

The little things are the big things.

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is at no time taking the other for granted;

the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,

it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

It is standing together facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,

but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating

gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.

It is not looking for perfection in each other.

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

 

Today

Today I marry my friend,

the one I laugh and cry with,

the one I have learned from and shared with.

This one I have chosen to support, encourage and give myself to,

through all the days given us to share.

Today I marry the one I love

 

Taken from poems by Denise Braxton Brown and Peggy Wrightsman

Let’s grow old together…beginning with today.

Let’s work slowly with each other and build a relationship

that we can both enjoy being a part of.

Let’s share love and understand that neither of us is perfect;

we are both subject to human frailties.

Let’s hold each other close and whisper though the night

— pledging our love, honoring our commitment.

Let’s encourage each other to pursue our dreams,

even when we’re weary from trying.

Let’s expect the best that we both have to give

and still love when we fall short of our expectations.

Let’s be friends and respect each other’s individual personality

and give one another room to grow.

Let’s be candid with each other and point out strengths and weaknesses.

Let’s understand each other’s personal philosophy, even if we don’t agree.

Let’s lie awake long into the night sharing our innermost secrets.

Let’s be friends as well as lovers.

Let’s laugh at time and plan with each other and wonder how we ever got along without this love we’ve found.

Let’s never take for granted these moments that we’ve shared, but always be reminded of how intensely we have learned to live, how completely we have learned to love.

Let’s grow old together…and look back on life and smile.

 

Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love by Edmund O’Neil

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 for a 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, and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.

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 fulfil.

 

 I Promise by Dorothy Colgan

I promise to give you the best of myself and

to ask of you no more than you can give.

I promise to respect you as your own person and to realise that your interests, desires and needs are no less important than my own.

I promise to share with you my time and my attention and to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship.

I promise to keep myself open to you, to let you see through the window of my world into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams.

I promise to grow along with you, to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting.

I promise to love you in good times and in bad, with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how. Completely and forever.

 

I Give You My Heart by Ruth Van Gramberg

I stand beside you strong and sure

my dearest, dearest friend,

And as we make our sacred vows

My thoughts of you transcend.

I give you my heart, my hopes, my dreams

Accept these gifts of mine

They are so precious and fragile

They need your care divine.

Treat my trust with gentleness

Treat me with loving care

I can but grow with patience and love

As long as you are there

 

The Promise by Eileen Rafter (Romantic)

The sun danced on the snow with a sparkling smile,

As two lovers sat quietly, alone for a while.

Then he turned and said, with a casual air

(Though he blushed from his chin to the tips of his hair),

“I think I might like to get married to you”

“Well then, she said, “Well there’s a thought,

But what if we can’t promise to be all that we ought,

If I’m late yet again, when we plan to go out.

For I know I can’t promise, I’ll learn to ignore

Dirty socks and damp towels strewn all over the floor.

So if we can’t vow to be all that we should

I’m not sure what to do, though the idea’s quite good”.

But he gently smiled and tilted his head

Till his lips met her ear and softly he said

“I promise, to weave my dreams into your own,

That wherever you breathe will be my hearts home.

I promise, that whether with rags or with gold I am blessed

Your smile is the jewel I will treasure the best.

Do you think then, my love, we should marry – do you?”

“Yes” she said smiling “I do”.

 

Our Union by Hafiz (Touching)

Our union is like this: You feel cold, so I reach for a blanket to cover our shivering feet.

A hunger comes into your body, so I run to my garden and start digging potatoes.

You asked for a few words of comfort and guidance, and I quickly kneel by your side offering you a whole book as a gift.

You ache with loneliness one night so much you weep, and I say here is a rope, tie it around me, I will be your companion for life.

 

 On your wedding Day by Anon

Today is a day you will always remember

The greatest in anyone’s life

You’ll start off the day just two people in love

And end it as Husband and Wife

It’s a brand new beginning the start of a journey

With moments to cherish and treasure

And although there’ll be time when you both disagree

These will surely be outweighed by pleasure

You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past

When the secrets of marriage were spoken

But you know that the answers lie hidden inside

Where the bond of true love lies unbroken

So live happy forever as lovers and friends

It’s the dawn of a new life for you

As you stand there together with love in your eyes

From the moment you whisper ‘I do’

And with luck, all your hopes, and your dreams can be real

May success find its way to your hearts

Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys

But today is the day it all starts.

 

The Beauty of Love by Anon (Ideal for Vow Renewals or older couples)

The question is asked: “Is there anything more beautiful in life than a young couple clasping hands and pure hearts in the path of marriage? Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?”

And the answer is given: “Yes, there is a more beautiful thing”.

“It is the spectacle of an old man and an old woman finishing their journey together on that path. Their hands are gnarled but still clasped; their faces are seamed but still radiant; their hearts are physically bowed and tired but still strong with love and devotion”.

Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love. Old love.

 

A Clock by Gary Walls (Written for his son’s wedding)

A clock is a symbol of marriage.

The clock is a beautiful and useful thing and works well.

It is strong and solid and has a bright and pleasant face.

It is built to last a lifetime.

The hands are joined together but they move independently.

They are equally important.

They move at different speeds and in different circles.

They come together and then pursue their own path.

But they always come back together, soon and often.

The clock is beautiful but it is only useful when the hands work together to tell their story.

 

The Future by Emma Salmon

“The Future”

In my future I see you and me,

And a house and garden filled with trees.

I see dinner parties surrounded by friends,

And a vegetable patch we love to tend.

I see cosy nights in front of the fire,

And a four-poster bed for when we tire.

I see our kitchen which will be the heart of the home,

And a Victorian bath brimming with foam.

I see muddy wellies by the front door,

And the kids eating cookies and asking for more.

I see nights in the garden camping under the stars,

And shelves full of mismatching local jam jars.

I see family picnics outside with the dog,

And a little blue shed containing the logs.

I see us sat by the window watching the snow,

And reading the papers and learning to grow.

I see pictures of family in quirky frames,

And letters on the kids’ doors spelling out their names.

I see laughter, pain, kisses and tears,

And helping each other to confront our fears.

I see you as my friend and also my lover,

Your confidant and your children’s mother.

I see a wonderful future for you and I,

And it’s cloaked in love until we die.

 

By Leo Tolstoy (Sailing analogy for marriage)

Having embarked on marriage he saw at every step that it was not at all what he had imagined. At every step he experienced what a man experiences when, after admiring the smooth, happy motion of a boat on a lake, he finds himself sitting in it himself.

He found that it was not enough to sit quietly without rocking the boat, that he had constantly to consider what to do next, that not for a moment must he forget what course to steer or that there was water under his feet, that he had to row, much as it hurt his unaccustomed hands, that it was pleasant enough to look at it from the shore, but very hard, though very delightful, to sail it.

 

 I Love You Because by Anon

“I Love You Because”

I love you because you’re my future,

my present and part of my past.

My world has been turning so quickly,

and time just keeps moving so fast.

I love you because you have something,

no ordinary person could give.

Warmth that I will cling to forever,

and hold onto as long as I live.

I love you because your devotion,

is tender and wonderfully rare.

And no-one could ever imagine

the magical moments we share.

I love you because you are truthful,

your eyes hold a key to my heart.

I know that you share my commitment,

and I know that we never shall part.

I love you because you are wonderful.

and you give me all that I need.

A hug when I seek reassurance,

and a smile when we’ve disagreed.

I love you because – I just love you,

for too many reasons to say.

And I’ll always be right here beside you,

a breath and a heartbeat away.

 

Extract from The Irrational Season, by Madeleine L’Engle

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.

 

Always Love Each Other by Larry S. Chengges

“Always Love Each Other”

If you can always be as close and as happy as today, yet be secure enough to grow and change along the way.

If you can keep for you alone your love as man and wife, yet find the time to share your joy with others in your life.

If you can be as one, and walk through marriage hand in hand, yet still support the goals and dreams that each of you have planned.

If you can dare to always go your separate ways together, then all the wonder of today will stay with you forever.

 

 I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman

“I Will Be Here”

If in the morning when you wake,

If the sun does not appear,

I will be here.

If in the dark we lose sight of love,

Hold my hand and have no fear,

I will be here.

I will be here,

When you feel like being quiet,

When you need to speak your mind

I will listen.

Through the winning, losing,

and trying we’ll be together,

And I will be here.

If in the morning when you wake,

If the future is unclear,

I will be here.

As sure as seasons were made for change,

Our lifetimes were made for years,

I will be here.

I will be here,

And you can cry on my shoulder,

When the mirror tells us we’re older.

I will hold you,

to watch you grow in beauty,

And tell you all the things you are to me.

We’ll be together and I will be here.

I will be true to the promises I’ve made,

To you and to the one who gave you to me.

I will be here.

 

Marriage by Dic Jones

“Marriage”

May you find new energy

By day in the warmth of the sun,

And the gentle light of the moon,

Shed her beams upon you by night,

And shower you with warmth

To scatter away your worries and every fear.

May gentle breezes blow

To renew your strength,

And may you not slide

Where the paths are steep.

May light guide your steps through the world

While continuing to respect the earth.

May hurricane or foul weather

Be unable to strike you

While you are in each other’s company

Sleeping together,

And when the hoar frost causes the acorns to fall

May you keep each other warm.

Two hearts, one aspiration,

Two tongues, but one language,

Two ropes clinging to the same ring,

Two souls, but one journey.

You will share each other’s company,

There is no loneliness where there are two of you.

Extend your tent further

To keep the fire burning,

With the door open to everyone

And all strings removed.

May all your dreams come true,

May your anger be short lived and your memory long.

 

Wedding Feast by by Diane Fahey – Australian (Fairy Tale)

“Wedding Feast”

The last wedding guest enters-

a king with shining retinue.

At he great table, all eyes turn

towards the figure in the doorway.

who embraces the bridegroom, gifts him

with his wealth – and this story:

I am Iron Hans. A spell made me

a wild man, but you have set me free –

oh disobedient, loving child,

oh anguished, questioning youth,

oh waiting and labouring one:

golden giver away of gold.

The bride and bridegroom toast their guest;

with linked arms they lead the dance.

 

 

 Wedding Song by contemporary New Zealand poet Rachel McAlpine.

“Wedding Song”

So you are the hunter

and I am the gatherer

and you are the gardener

and I am the traveller

and I am the dancer,

and you are the dance.

For the looks may change, and the heart may range,

And the love be no longer fond;

Wilt thou love with truth in the years of youth

And away to the years beyond?

And I am the dreamer

and you are the harbour

and you are the future

and I am the farmer

and you are the juggler,

and I am the clown.

I see you—I know you,

I love you—I see—

that you are the builder

and I am the weaver

and you are the mover

and I am the mender

and you are the mountain,

and I am the cloud.

And you are the lover

and I am the lover

and we are a twosome,

and you are the one.

 

Just As Long As Your Eyes Are Blue by ‘Banjo’ Paterson – Australian (Renewal of vows)

“Just As Long As Your Eyes Are Blue”

Wilt thou love me, sweet, when my hair is grey

And my cheeks shall have lost their hue?

When the charms of youth shall have passed away,

Will your love as of old prove true?

For the looks may change, and the heart may range,

And the love be no longer fond;

Wilt thou love with truth in the years of youth

And away to the years beyond?

Oh, I love you, sweet, for your locks of brown

And the blush on your cheek that lies —

But I love you most for the kindly heart

That I see in your sweet blue eyes.

For the eyes are signs of the soul within,

Of the heart that is real and true,

And mine own sweetheart, I shall love you still,

Just as long as your eyes are blue.

For the locks may bleach, and the cheeks of peach

May be reft of their golden hue;

But mine own sweetheart, I shall love you still,

Just as long as your eyes are blue.

 

Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson OBE (1864-1941)

was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author.

 

The Beauty of Love by Anon (Renewal of vows)

“The Beauty of Love”

The question is asked:

“Is there anything more beautiful in life

than a young couple clasping hands and pure hearts

in the path of marriage?

Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?”

And the answer is given:

“Yes, there is a more beautiful thing”.

“It is the spectacle of an old man and an old woman finishing

their journey together on that path.

Their hands are gnarled but still clasped;

their faces are seamed but still radiant;

their hearts are physically bowed and tired

but still strong with love and devotion”.

Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love.

Old love.

 

Taken from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause, you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.

 

Taken from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause, you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.

 

Together with You

Together With You

Together is my favourite word,

and when you hold my hand

and when we talk for hours on end,

I know you understand..

Together is remembering

A special time or place

and feeling the assurance

of a tender, warm embrace..

Together is a certainty.

along life’s rocky way,

your comfort and companionship

will be there day by day..

Together is a silence

that I share with one true friend,

when the circle of our thought

has no beginning and no end.