Reading – from Once Upon A Time – A Happy Beginning

Tomorrow is uncertain. Who knows what it will bring.
But one thing is for sure love, with you I have everything.
And happily ever after is the way these stories go.
I used to think that’s what I wanted, but now I finally know.
There’s no storm we can’t out run.
We will always find the sun.
Leave the past and all its scars.
A happy beginning now is ours.

We celebrate all together a long time wish come true.
What makes it even better, today our story starts anew.
When villains cast their curses, we can overcome them all.
If we all stand strong together there’s no way we can fall.
We will face the endless night.
Take my hand and join the fight.
Past the clouds we’ll find the stars.
A happy beginning now is ours.

 

 

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Quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson once said:

“The problem, often not discovered until late in life, is that when you look for things like love, meaning, motivation, it implies they are sitting behind a tree or under a rock. The most successful people recognize, that in life they create their own love, they manufacture their own meaning, they generate their own motivation.”

 

 

 

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Reading – Soft Mists Embrace Two Golden Flames by Harold Douglas

“Soft mists embrace two golden flames,
Alone they search the night.
Two souls adrift in dreams of love,
They seek to claim the light.
The path is long from which they came,
But sure they are it’s right.
Two flames embrace in dreams of love,
Two Souls – Two Hearts Unite.”

 

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Reading – Quote from The Gift by Daniel Ladinsky:

Note: This quote is often misattributed to Hafiz.  However, the author did not translate this poem from any Farsi writings of Hafiz.  Rather, Ladinsky says that Hafiz gave him these poems in a dream, in English, so he named his book of poetry “The Gift: Poems from Hafiz the great Sufi Master”.  Many have thought this meant Ladinsky was translating from Hafiz’s poetry, but this is not the case. Regardless, it is a beautiful quote. 

 

“Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth “you owe me”. Look at what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.”

 

 

 

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Reading – LOVE by Roy Croft

I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.

 

 

 

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Reading – From Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

“The future belongs to hearts even more than it does to minds. Love, that is the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity. In the infinite, the inexhaustible is requisite.
Love participates of the soul itself. It is of the same nature. Like it, it is the divine spark; like it, it is incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable. It is a point of fire that exists within us, which is immortal and infinite, which nothing can confine, and which nothing can extinguish. We feel it burning even to the very marrow of our bones, and we see it beaming in the very depths of heaven…
What a grand thing it is to be loved! What a far grander thing it is to love! The heart becomes heroic, by dint of passion. It is no longer composed of anything but what is pure; it no longer rests on anything that is not elevated and great. An unworthy thought can no more germinate in it, than a nettle on a glacier. The serene and lofty soul, inaccessible to vulgar passions and emotions, dominating the clouds and the shades of this world, its follies, its lies, its hatreds, its vanities, its miseries, inhabits the blue of heaven, and no longer feels anything but profound and subterranean shocks of destiny, as the crests of mountains feel the shocks of earthquake.
If there did not exist some one who loved, the sun would become extinct.”
 

 

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Reading – From Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

“Oh, what a love it was, utterly free, unique, like nothing else on earth! Their thoughts were like other people’s songs.
They loved each other, not driven by necessity, by the ‘blaze of passion’ often falsely ascribed to love. They loved each other because everything around them willed it, the trees and the clouds and the sky over their heads and the earth under their feet. Perhaps their surrounding world, the strangers they met in the street, the wide expanses they saw on their walks, the rooms in which they lived or met, took more delight in their love than they themselves did.”
 

 

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Reading – Sonnet 116, by William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

 

 

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Reading – Blessing For A Marriage, by James Dillet Freeman

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding. May you always need one another — not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete. The valley does not make the mountain less, but more. And the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you. May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another. May you succeed in all-important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery that is the awareness of one another’s presence — no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.
 

 

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Reading – The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

“You were the one who taught me… I never looked at you without seeing the sweetness of the way the world goes together, or without sorrow for its spoiling. I became a hero to serve you, and all that is like you. Also to find some way of starting a conversation…
I would enter your sleep if I could, and guard you there, and slay the thing that hounds you, as I would if it had the courage to face me in fair daylight. But I cannot come in unless you dream of me… I love whom I love.”

 

 

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Reading – Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

“People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.”

 

 

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Reading – I Will Be Here, by Steven Curtis Chapman

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.

 

 

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Reading – From The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry Fames

“It has made me better loving you… it has made me wiser, and easier, and – I won’t pretend to deny – brighter and nicer and even stronger. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I didn’t have them. Theoretically I was satisfied, as I once told you. I flattered myself I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid, sterile, hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better.”
 

 

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Reading – Why Marriage, by Dena Acolatse

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body…
Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won’t hold them against me,
Who loves me when I’m unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me…
Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold…
Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love, in friendship…
Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements…
Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole…
Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage…
Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.

 

 

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Reading – From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, by Louis De Bernieres

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become 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 promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. …we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

 

 

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Reading – Saying Goodbye to the Fox from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

… And then he added: “Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret.” The little prince went away, to look again at the roses.
“You are not at all like my rose,” he said. “As yet you are nothing. No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one. You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made him my friend, and now he is unique in all the world.” And the roses were very much embarrassed.
“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you–the rose that belongs to me. But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe; because it is she that I have sheltered behind the screen; because it is for her that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three that we saved to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to, when she grumbled, or boasted, or ever sometimes when she said nothing. Because she is my rose.“
And he went back to meet the fox.
“Goodbye,” he said. “Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
It is the time I have wasted for my rose–” said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.
“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose . . .”
“I am responsible for my rose,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
…”But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart . . .”

 

 

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Reading – quote from Welcome to Nightvale by Joseph Fink & Jeffery Cranor

“All of their imperfections and faults which made them individuals worth loving.  They had built those faults into the usual messy, comfortable, patched-up, beautiful structure that any functioning long term relationship ended up being.”

 

 

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Reading – Plato’s Symposium (excerpt)

Humans have never understood the power of Love, for if they had they would surely have built noble temples and altars and offered solemn sacrifices; but this is not done, and most certainly ought to be done, since Love is our best friend, our helper, and the healer of the ills which prevent us from being happy.

To understand the power of Love, we must understand that our original human nature was not like it is now, but different. Human beings each had two sets of arms, two sets of legs, and two faces looking in opposite directions. There were three sexes then: one comprised of two men called the children of the Sun, one made of two women called the children of the Earth, and a third made of a man and a woman, called the children of the Moon. Due to the power and might of these original humans, the Gods began to fear that their reign might be threatened. They sought for a way to end the humans’ insolence without destroying them.

It was at this point that Zeus divided the humans in half. After the division the two parts of each desiring their other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one. So ancient is the desire of one another which is implanted in us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of humankind.

Each of us when separated, having one side only, is but the indenture of a person, and we are always looking for our other half. Those whose original nature lies with the children of the Sun are men who are drawn to other men, those from the children of the Earth are women who love other women, and those from the children of the Moon are men and women drawn to one another. And when one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment. We pass our whole lives together, desiring that we should be melted into one, to spend our lives as one person instead of two, and so that after our death there will be one departed soul instead of two; this is the very expression of our ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love.

 

 

 

 

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Reading – The Wedding of Serge and Molly, from the book Torpedo Juice By Tim Dorsey

I, Serge, take you, Molly, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to love and to hold, in sickness and on health, in good times and bad, choosing you exclusively as my wife, friend, partner, airtight alibi, getaway driver, nurturing each other’s growth, making fun of the same relatives behind their backs, developing a list of running gags that is the foundation of any solid relationship, doing all the cool things married people do, which is why I’m really looking forward to this: snuggling on the couch with photo albums, watching classic movies in bed with lots of snacks, making silly remarks when we fart, at least at first before is becomes contentious, always agreeing with my wife that her really hot-looking friends dress like sluts and promising never, ever to fight. And when we do, to fight fair and not take off our rings and throw them at each other or reach for hot-button secrets we confided like those kids from junior high and their cruel nicknames-damn them to eternal hell! Then having lots and lots of kids with normal names instead of Scout, Tyfani, Dakota, Breeze or Shaniquatella, reading them bedtime stories and nursery rhymes, singing Christmas carols, teaching them that the “special words” Mommy and Daddy use around the house can’t be repeated at school because it’s “our little secret.” I, further solemnly swear to adore and respect, to honor and defend, against all foes foreign and domestic, my love, my light, my life, the wind beneath my wings, the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, fourscore and seven years, in Birmingham they love the guv’nah—ooo-ooo-ooo!  As long as we both shall live! Amen!

 

 

 

 

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Reading – “Today I Marry My Best Friend” by Bertrand Russell

Today I marry my best friend:
The one I have laughed and cried with,
The one I have learned from and shared with,
The one I have chosen to support, encourage and give myself to,
Through all the days, given to us to share,
Today I marry the one I love.

 

 

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Reading – “I Fell in Love with Her Courage…” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity and her flaming self respect. And it’s these things I’d believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all she should be. I love her and that is the beginning of everything.”

 

 

 

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Reading – Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

“If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships?

But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: This quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”

 

 

 

 

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Reading – The Rule of Life, by Buddha

“Cherish good will right and left, early and late, and without hindrance, without stint, be free of hate and envy, while standing and walking and sitting down, whatever you have in mind, the rule of life that is always best is to be loving, kind.”   – Buddha in his sermon at Rajagaha

 

 

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Reading – Carl Sagan on Love

Note: This is not actually a quote from Carl Sagan.  Part of the words are his, the rest are an amalgam from other thinkers.  However, as this quote is generally mis-attributed to Sagan, I have listed it as his, only to aid those who are searching for this quote.

“The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth. We should remain grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. The sum of all our evolution, our thinking and our accomplishments is love.”

 

 

 

 

 

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