Here is today’s assignment on Writing 101:
You can write about anything for today’s post — the only requirement is that you begin with a blockquote, which you can create in your post editor by clicking the quotation mark icon.
The type of quote you choose is up to you. Maybe the passage is something you’d like to comment on, or is one of your favorite quotes. Or maybe you read a great essay the other day, and one of its lines made you think.
Pull a quote of any length, but ideally between one sentence to a short paragraph. If you can’t find one, go to the quotes section on Goodreads.com, where you’re bound to find a line that speaks to you.
And here is my response:
Love is the river of life in this world. Think not that ye know it who stand at the little tinkling rill, the first small fountain. Not until you have gone through the rocky gorges, and not lost the stream; not until you have gone through the meadow, and the stream has widened and deepened until fleets could ride on its bosom; not until beyond the meadow you have come to the unfathomable ocean, and poured your treasure into its depths – not until then can you know what love is. Henry Ward Beecher
My husband and I were married at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church in Chevy Chase, Maryland in 1983. It was a fairly conventional ceremony with some accommodation so that the prayers would be more inclusive of our friends of different faiths, while still recognizing that we were a Christian couple and that making a covenant with God was an important part of our marriage. Instead of repeating after the minister, we each memorized our vows:
“I Kalen, take you Rick, to be my lawful, wedded husband and I promise and covenant before God and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful wife. In plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, so long as we both shall live.” Or something pretty close to that – it has been 32 years and I didn’t go look it up, that’s just what I remember.
The unique part of the ceremony was that we independently chose a saying that described what love meant to each us and we didn’t share those sayings with each other before the ceremony. The minister read them during the ceremony – it was a surprise verbal “gift” that we gave each other as part of the ceremony. I chose the quote above, which had actually been a quote I found when I was a teenager (I loved to read quotes and saved my favorite ones). As I had the minister read – “it had survived all of my tossing outs and throwing aways and still describes what I believe love is.”
I was just about to elaborate on the meaning of the quote when I realized that my words would only detract from its beauty. The sure sign of a good quote is that it needs no explanation.
I’ll close by saying that the quote is as true now as it was when I chose it 32 years ago. I’m looking forward to pouring the treasures of our love into the unfathomable ocean – but not for a good while yet – I’m too busy enjoying the smooth river flowing through the beautiful meadow.