Today’s readings are inspired by several different ancient cultures—a reminder that human beings have been contemplating the nature of love and the mysteries of marriage for eons.
“When two people are at one in their inmost hearts, they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze. And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts, their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids.” –I Ching
“Look to this day, For it is life, The very life of life. In its brief course lie all the varieties And realities of your existence; The bliss of growths The glory of action, The splendor of beauty; For yesterday is but a dream And tomorrow is only a vision, But today well lived makes Every yesterday a dream of happiness And every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day. Such is the salvation of the dawn.” –Bhagavad Gita (Hindu)
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
—-An excerpt from “The Prophet” Kahlil Gibran