One of the elements that will truly make your ceremony a unique gift for your family and friends is the inclusion of wonderful readings. Of course, there is always, “Love is not icky, weird or obnoxious”, from Paul’s other letter to the Corinthians (not many people realize that Paul had a real grumpy side, but that’s another post for another blog…), and that e e cummings thing about carrying your heart somewhere….yawn.
Okay, okay, they’re all appropriate and fine for a typical wedding, but for you? No, no….you need something more interesting than that. You aren’t dull and predictable: why should your readings be dull and predictable? They shouldn’t, and I’m here to help.
Now, I always trust the universe to hand me absolutely perfect stuff when I most need it; those crocuses and lilacs out there; fresh mozzarella with pesto, and not too long ago, the serendipitous gift of a wonderful love poem by poet/teacher/mentor/performer/ Golden Ears Award winner (and what a great award to get!!) Taylor Mali. Shari and Harry, my very cool couple who got married at West Point (pix to follow!) included this poem in their ceremony, then the next day (no, I am not kidding), another one of my cool couples asked me about it. I traced it back to Taylor, I was delighted to read all about him and his mission to bring poetry where it has never gone before, and back to the places that it has. Taylor, the energetic teacher and artist, is far too big to capture here and I couldn’t even do him justice, but you’ll want to go to his site and enjoy learning about him.
But to make it easy, and to tease you a bit, here is the wonderful poem in question. I will have the distinct pleasure of reading it again with a trio of eight year old ring bearers at a wedding this weekend, at a wedding of two teachers! Could life be any better? I doubt it!
Falling in love is like owning a dog
an epithalamion by Taylor Mali
First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.
Fantastic! So true, and so simple.
And okay, I needed to put in a little plug and pix for my favorite charity, Puppies Behind Bars; they will be featured on Oprah on May 6th! YEAH!!!!!!! If you don’t know about this wonderful organization, you should! They place puppies with prison inmates in the New York area, who lovingly train them to be service dogs. It is an amazing program, and Annie, who runs it deserves all our support and as many dollars as we can spare. Thank you Annie and Taylor!