We just got back home from a week in Utah where we were able to celebrate with Emily and Joey as they got married. You can just tell when you are around those two that they make each other so happy and I am so thrilled that my sister found the perfect guy for her. It makes me all excited for going on trips together with all our kids someday. Her dress was amazing! My mom made it, of course, and planned a beautiful reception with a delicious taco bar. Joey and his family and friends did lots of live music at the reception which was a highlight, especially when he sang Sunshine on Leith by The Proclaimers to Emily.
At our wedding dinner I asked Emily to read a poem and she chose Shakespeare sonnet 116 which I loved since high school. I was honored when Emily asked me to do the same at their dinner and this is the poem that I picked.
by Mary Oliver
When we’re driving, in the dark,
on the long road
to Provincetown, which lies empty
for miles, when we’re weary,
when the buildings
and the scrub pines lose
their familiar look,
I imagine us rising
from the speeding car,
I imagine us seeing
everything from another place — the top
of one of the pale dunes
or the deep and nameless
fields of the sea —
and what we see is the world
that cannot cherish us
but which we cherish,
and what we see is our life
moving like that,
along the dark edges
of everything — the headlights
sweeping the blackness —
believing in a thousand
fragile and unprovable things,
looking out for sorrow,
slowing down for happiness,
making all the right turns
right down to the thumping
barriers to the sea,
the swirling waves,
the narrow streets, the houses,
the past, the future,
the doorway that belongs
to you and me.
…and the runners up…
by Billy Collins
“You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine . . .”
You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the
You are the white apron of the baker
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.
However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way you are the pine-scented air.
It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.
And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.
It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.
I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley,
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.
I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman’s tea cup.
But don’t worry, I am not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and—somehow—the wine.
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Understand, I’ll slip quietly
away from the noisy crowd
when I see the pale
stars rising, blooming, over the oaks.
I’ll pursue solitary pathways
through the pale twilit meadows,
with only this one dream:
You come too.
by Margaret Atwood
Marriage is not a house, or even a tent it is before that, and colder: the edge of the forest, the edge of the desert the unpainted stairs at the back, where we squat outdoors, eating popcorn
the edge of the receding glacier
where painfully and with wonder at having survived even this far we are learning to make fire.