My daughter married the man she loves on Saturday. I have a thousand thoughts and ten thousand emotions swirling inside me. And somehow, my words don’t work. But Neil Gaiman’s do. He wrote these for friends, on the occasion of their wedding and has generously given permission for others to use them. So, this is what the bride’s father read for his toast, and what I will share here.
This is everything I have to tell you about love: nothing
This is everything I’ve learned about marriage: nothing
Only that the world out there is complicated,
and there are beasts in the night, and delight and pain,
and the only thing that makes it okay, sometimes,
is to reach out a hand in the darkness and find another hand to squeeze,
and not to be alone.
It’s not the kisses, or never just the kisses: it’s what they mean.
Somebody’s got your back.
Somebody knows your worst self and somehow doesn’t want to rescue you
or send for the army to rescue them.
It’s not two broken halves becoming one.
It’s the light from a distant lighthouse bringing you both safely home
because home is wherever you are both together
So this is everything I have to tell you about love and marriage: nothing
-like a book without pages or a forest without trees.
Because there are things you cannot know before you experience them.
Because no study can prepare you for the joys or the trials.
Because nobody else’s love, nobody else’s marriage, is like yours,
and it’s a road you can only learn by walking it,
a dance you cannot be taught,
a song that did not exist before you began, together, to sing.
And because in the darkness you will reach out a hand,
not knowing for certain if someone else is even there.
And your hands will meet,
and then neither of you will ever need to be alone again.
And that’s all I know about love.
“Tomorrow we may come this way,
And take the hidden paths that run
Towards the Moon or to the Sun”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world.
“You should never hesitate to trade your cow
for a handful of magic beans.”
“In every change, in every falling leaf there is some pain, some beauty.
And that’s the way new leaves grow.” ― Amit Ray
“Heaven deliver us, what’s a poet? Something that can’t go to bed without making a song about it.” ― Dorothy L. Sayers
Today begins National Poetry Month, no fooling! It was started by the Academy of American Poets to help increase awareness of poetry in our very prosaic existence. Here is a link to thirty ways to celebrate poetry.
Another way to celebrate (if you like celebrations with lots of agony (no, not 50 shades of agony)) is to try writing a poem a day for the month of April. If you’re interested have a peek here: http://www.napowrimo.net/
And if you write a poem a day anyway, just because you are that creative and disciplined, you probably aren’t wasting time reading something like this; and by the way, I sort of hate you. Well, not really, not hate – I guess it’s more like envy. And that’s still not good, I know, but I”m working on it.
I’m going to do the NaPoWriMo poem a day challenge on another blog I have that’s not on WordPress. I’m feeling a bit panicked, because I haven’t been writing ahead with a week or two worth of poems on in reserve. In fact I haven’t even written today’s #1 poem yet. *gulp* But I will in a few minutes. If you’re interested you can have a peek here: http://writinginthebachs.blogspot.com/
And just because I can’t really talk about National Poetry Month without having a poem in the post I’ll include one that I wrote awhile back and still sort of like:
coral, shells, stones and bones
littered across memory’s beach.
air feeds fire.
We stir the cauldron and reflect.
Bury your treasure deep –
golden moments silvery seconds
no matter the lock
they will not keep.