Modern wedding readings

September 28 • 2012

Modern wedding readings<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>

“Love is patient, love is kind…” You’ve no doubt heard that verse from Corinthians recited at a wedding ceremony or two. It’s a classic for good reason, but readings can come from a number of sources beyond religious texts. Favorite songs, poetry, pop culture, or even your own noggin.

Today, we offer up two options from the world of literature. The first, by American novelist and short story author Richard Bausch, delights in the domestic details that characterize familiar, everyday affection. The second, an excerpt from “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams, reveals an unexpectedly sophisticated take on love from the pages of a children’s classic. Have you heard a reading you adore lately? Share it with us in the comments.

From “The Last Good Time,” by Richard Bausch

There was a lovely time, long ago, too private to tell anyone, or too ordinary. It had nothing to do with anything, really: it was almost embarrassingly humble. One December night, unable to sleep, he had glanced out the bedroom window to discover that it had snowed. He woke his wife and made her come to the window, and the surprise of it delighted her as it had delighted him.

They dressed and bundled the baby up and took a walk, and watched the dawn arrive, and when they returned to the house, he took the day off. They played with the baby, cooked dinner, and baked bread. They listened to the baby playing in his playpen, and they talked idly about anything that came into their minds, and that evening, late, they lay whispering to each other about what a beautiful day it had been.

He thought about all this on his way down to the grocery store. The memory of it came through him like a breath, and then he was savoring it, basking in its warmth. And he thought that this is what love really meant: this very ordinary memory. That love was easy and plentiful as grass, and as still, as calm somehow.

From “The Velveteen Rabbit,” by Margery Williams

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When someone loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled. “The boy’s uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

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