Arlo and Sally - Sept. 24, 2006 - Chicago, IL


Ceremony readings

We know, the microphone didn't work very well during our ceremony. Even when it was working, some of our readings were pretty dense and hard to follow. We present them here for your detailed study.

written and read by Tom Giles

Redeeming this place its sausage past
Arlo and Sally joining fast
Commit to the ancient human plan
Love, honor, cherish woman and man
Love that we’ve seen would warrant a bet
This is a partnership that will get
Deeper and deeper as time rolls on
Sally and Arlo, as two, as one
Blessings upon this marriage we pray
Let's celebrate this glorious day
Join with me please, together let's say
Arlo and Sally—hip, hip, hip, hooray!!!

From Walden
written by Henry David Thoreau, read by Aaron Gross

So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change. This is the only way, we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one centre. All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.

We might try our lives by a thousand simple tests; as for instance that the same sun which ripens my beans illumines at once a system of earths like ours. If I had remembered this it would have prevented some mistakes. This was not the light in which I hoed them. The stars are the apexes of what wonderful triangles! What distant and different beings in the various mansions in the universe are contemplating the same one at the same moment. Nature and human life are as various as our several constitutions. Who shall say what prospect life offers to another? Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each others' eyes for an instant? We should live in all the ages of the world in an hour; ay, in all the worlds of the ages. History, Poetry, Mythology!—I know of no reading of another's experience so startling and informing as this would be.

The Great Advantage of Being Alive
written by e.e. cummings, read by Cyndi Leach

the great advantage of being alive
(instead of undying) is not so much
that mind no more can disprove than prove
what heart may feel and soul may touch
—the great (my darling) happens to be
that love are in we, that love are in we

and here is a secret they never will share
for whom create is less than have
or one times one than when times where—
that we are in love, that we are in love:
with us they've nothing times nothing to do
(for love are in we am in i are in you)

this world (as timorous itsters all
to call their cowardice quite agree)
shall never discover our touch and feel
—for love are in we are in love are in we;
for you are and i am and we are (above
and under all possible worlds) in love

a billion brains may coax undeath
from fancied fact and spaceful time—
no heart can leap, no soul can breathe
but by the sizeless truth of a dream
whose sleep is the sky and the earth and the sea.
For love are in you am in i are in we

From Teachings on Love
written by Thich Nhat Hahn, read by Shifra Harris

You may have the impression that you know everything about your spouse, but it is not so. Nuclear scientists study one speck of dust for many years, and they still do not claim to understand everything about it. If a speck of dust is like that, how can a person say that he or she knows everything about the other person? Driving the car, paying attention only to your own thoughts, you just ignore your spouse. You think, "I know everything about her. There is nothing new in her anymore." That is not correct.

We have to learn the art of creating happiness. If our parents did not know how to create happiness, we may not know how to do it. So in our practice, we try to learn the art of making people happy. The problem is not one of being wrong or right, but one of being more or less skillful. Living together is an art. Even with a lot of goodwill, you can still make the other person very unhappy. Good will is not enough. We need to know the art of making the other person happy. Try to be artful in your speech and action. Art is the essence of life.

From The Art of Loving
written by Erich Fromm, read by Erna Kuhns

What does one person give to another? He gives of himself, of the most precious he has, he gives of his life. This does not necessarily mean that he sacrifices his life for the other—but that he gives him of that which is alive in him; he gives him of his joy, of his interest, of his understanding, of his knowledge, of his humor, of his sadness—of all expressions and manifestations of that which is alive in him. In thus giving of his life, he enriches the other person, he enhances the other's sense of aliveness by enhancing his own sense of aliveness. He does not give in order to receive; giving is in itself exquisite joy. Giving implies to make the other person a giver also and they both share in the joy of what they have brought to life. In the act of giving something is born, and both persons involved are grateful for the life that is born for both of them. Specifically with regard to love, this means: love is a power which produces love.