Monday, April 5, 2010

On Words : On Weddings

For this admitted logophile, deciding what words to have read at one's wedding has proven a time consuming (and fun) trip down memory lane. You can go whimsical childhood throwback a la The Velveteen Rabbit or tried and true Bard lover a la Shakespeare's Sonnet #147. Pablo Neruda's passionate poems of oneness and consumption move while the unabashed abandon of Rumi's descriptors get you a little hot and bothered. And then there is the intimate bareness of an Ernest Hemingway passage. The summation of love in a simple, spare sentence - so true and so quiet, it makes your bones ache with recognition.

That night at the hotel, in our room with the long empty hall outside and our shoes outside the door, a thick carpet on the floor of the room, outside the windows the rain falling and in the room light and pleasant and cheerful, then the light out and it exciting with smooth sheets and the bed comfortable, feeling that we had come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired and if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone. Often a man wishes to be alone and a girl wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. It has only happened to me like that once.

- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, 1929