Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What Stays?

written for and read at the wedding ceremony of Alfredo and Rayne Mathew, Summer 2005


Breath in our booming lungs and heartgongs beating away,
Lives of redwoods and blueberry bushes and humans flashing by
As we spin in a rush and tumble over this delicate,
Durable, thundering sphere of water and air, flesh and stone.

What stays? What lasts? What is passed on?

Inhale the moment, exhale the moment,
This blissful, terminal, eternal press of moment after moment,
Faces in the crowd, drops on the dunegrass in the morning,
Rain in afternoon tidepools, orange clouds at sundown.

What stays? What lasts? What is passed on?

Today you will hold your lover’s hand
While rivers and tides roll in the wind.
Tonight you will hold hands and dance a samba
And stars in their ever-widening orbits will dance.

What will stay? What can last? What is passed on?

In every human moment, at the crack of the homerun bat,
In the millisecond that the camera shutters,
Comets in deep space slowly dissolve, bright in the void,
And the Himalayas are growing, and the Appalachias are crumbling…

What could you make that stays? What could you build that lasts? What could you pass on?


There is one thing, the only thing,
That stays,
Though the cities we now make our lives in
Will one day sleep under oceans and sand.

As you hold your lover’s hand,
Dance that samba with stars reeling above you,
With every wild-eyed grin
And tap of your feet
And each thrum of your corazón
A great vibration of love goes forth,
To the unknown end of the universe…

And every moment that our hearts are full of that brightness
We build the real world.
For, even as the roots of roadside flowers
Dissolve the cement along the highway,
The rays of love are unbending and unbreakable.

We stand and sit and dance and kiss
In the eternal living history
Of all the love that ever emerged
From everyone’s blessed heart...and we pass it on...
And we use it to learn and to live and to love one another.


So dance in the light of the dusk or the dawn,
And kiss in the kitchen with no clothing on,
And run in the ocean and roll in the hay,
And start revolutions that say, “Love is the Way.”

Your Dante’s and Virgil’s, Sappho’s and Rodin’s,
Have done what they could to make themselves last.
And in the unceasing rush of world cycles,
Their creations appear and flicker out
Like lights from summer fireflies.

And so our best strategy,
Now, and millennia from now,
Is to tune in to the unwavering wavelength,
Keep our arms and hearts open on the ride—
All the time knowing that when we gong with cariño
We shake the stars,
For ever and ever,
And love is what stays.

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