D.E.A.R. Day

Remember D.E.A.R. day in school?  Drop Everything And Read?  That was one of my favorite days of the school year!   I always had a book in my desk, and I’d rush through every worksheet and test so I could get back to my book.  On D.E.A.R. day, we weren’t required to do anything during the allotted D.E.A.R. time but read!

Since Adam and I started planning our wedding, I’ve been drawn to words about love.  One of the joys of literature is finding passages so unique, beautiful, thought-provoking, and true that you can’t help but be moved.  Of course, if you’re like me, you’ve got unorganized stacks of books on all three levels of the house with none of these beautiful passages marked…and it’ll take a ton of time to rediscover them!  In the meantime, I’ll share a few lovely passages that I’m considering for our ceremony, reception signs, or wedding album.

Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy
Be heap’d like mine and that thy skill be more
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath
This neighbour air, and let rich music’s tongue
Unfold the imagined happiness that both
Receive in either by this dear encounter.

Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
Brags of his substance, not of ornament:
They are but beggars that can count their worth;
But my true love is grown to such excess
I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth.

-William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
[The words spoken just before their wedding!  He only asks her to sing, but he asks in the most loving, poetic, and gentle way.  They’re so captivated by one another.]

I want to tell you, again, I love you. Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust. Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you.

-Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler’s Wife
[*Sniffle*…so sad but so beautiful.  I melt whenever Henry describes Clare and his love for her.]

Now from his breast into his eyes the ache
Of longing mounted, and he wept at last,
His dear wife, clear and faithful, in his arms,
Longed for
As the sunwarmed earth is longed for by a swimmer
Spent in rough water where his ship went down
Under Poseidon’s blows, gale winds and tons of sea.
Few men can keep alive through a big surf
To crawl, clotted with brine, on kindly beaches
In joy, in joy, knowing the abyss behind:
and so she too rejoiced, her gaze upon her husband,
her white arms round him pressed as though forever.

-Homer, The Odyssey
[Try reading this without crying!  The overwhelming joy and relief they felt…made more powerful “knowing the abyss behind” and by Penelope’s fierce loyalty to her husband.]

Sigh, maybe these passages are too tear-inducing for our wedding.  I love every line of Romeo and Juliet, but their story is so sad.  And all the struggles and longing that Odysseus and Penelope survived…and the fate of Henry and Clare…oh, these would have me crying through the whole day.  My new task should be finding more jubilant passages!  Any recommendations?


August 19, 2009. Reading.

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