People have frequently asked us how we, Chappell and I, have done it. How have we stayed together over 39 years. It’s been difficult to give a short answer. Or we find ourselves speechless. On our 25th anniversary, with the help of many friends, we put on a large party at Larry Geis’s house in Sebastopol to celebrate the enduring love in our relationship. For the ceremony part, we put together some true quotes about the great bestowal of love, the powerful circuit that upholds this planet, the Great Circle. Here, with some new additions, is a long answer:
“Love is a striving, a seeking for that which is higher and greater than oneself.” (Plato, in Needleman’s The Heart of Philosophy)
“When I speak of love, I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
“More handsome men might promise
To verb your noun or noun your verb,
But wife, for you, every Wednesday night,
I’ll drag the garbage to the curb…” (From Sherman Alexie, Marriage Song)
“Love is the outworking of the divine and inner urge of life.” (Jesus, The Urantia Book, p. 1898; 174:1.5)
“Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and beautiful.”
(Jesus to John, The Urantia Book, p. 1950; 192:2.1)
“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments; Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove: O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark, that looks on tempests and is never shaken; it is the star to every wandering bark, whose worth’s unknown, although his highth be taken. Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle’s compass come; love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon my proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”
(Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare)
From the Truth, Beauty and Goodness paper (Urantia Book, p. 646; 56:10.19)
“…truth, beauty, and goodness embrace the full revelation of divinity reality. As this love-comprehension of Deity finds spiritual expression in the lives of God-knowing mortals, there are yielded the fruits of divinity: intellectual peace, social progress, moral satisfaction, spiritual joy, and cosmic wisdom. Advanced mortals … have learned that love is the greatest thing in the universe--and they know that God is love.”
“Love is the desire to do good to others.” (A Mighty Messenger, The UB, 56:10.21)
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. (Mother to Son, Langston Hughes)
“You are destined to live a narrow and mean life if you learn to love only those who love you. Human love may indeed be reciprocal, but divine love is outgoing in all its satisfaction-seeking. The less of love in any creature's nature, the greater the love need, and the more does divine love seek to satisfy such need. Love is never self-seeking, and it cannot be self-bestowed. Divine love cannot be self-contained; it must be unselfishly bestowed.” (Jesus teaching at Tyre, The UB, 156:5.11)
Chappell and I together have lived with the challenges and ideals of love as a goal and we’ve helped each other to grow towards and with them.