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I highly recommend taking the time to write your own ceremony. It is such a wonderful time before marriage that you can spend together exploring deeply what marriage means to you and what kind of ceremony you want to celebrate your union with. It helps to have lots of poetry anthologies and books of poetry by your favorite poets. This book is great because it has so many poems about love and marriage. We used many poems from this book in our ceremony. We also used a lot of Rumi poems. We even combined a few Rumi poems to create a beautiful reading that felt personal to us. We began the ceremony singing a Sanskrit prayer that meant "May all beings be peaceful and happy". It was blissful. It was nice to have a ceremony that was personally very spiritual and combined many different religions. We also had two friends compose music to two of "The Dances of Universal Peace" using Indian instruments. During the ceremony we also planted a rose tree.
We always say our vows to each other because they are so beautiful, and on our anniversaries we read through our entire ceremony, and sing the songs.
"The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing
How blind I was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along."
(translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne)
Nissa Vaidehi Howard
Where the Knight's Tale was primarily a story about chivalry, love, and spirituality, The Two Noble Kinsmen is very much about psychology and human emotions. Like other plays that Shakespeare wrote, this one shows how conflicting emotions create problems when we cannot master ourselves. In this case, the two loving cousins, Palamon and Arcite, fall out over having been overwhelmed by love for the appearance of Emilia, Duke Theseus's sister. The play explores many ways that their fatal passion for Emilia might be quenched or diverted into more useful paths. The dilemma can only be resolved by the removal of one of them. This places Emilia in an awkward situation where she will wed one, but at the cost of the life of the other. She finds them both attractive, and is deeply uncomfortable with their mutual passion for her. In a parallel subplot, the jailer's daughter similarly falls in love with Palamon, putting her father's life and her own in jeopardy. Overcome with unrequited love, she becomes mad from realizing what she has done. Only by entering into her delusions is she able to reach out to others.
What most impressed me from reading this play is how much better Shakespeare was as a writer than either Chaucer or Fletcher. You can tell the parts that Shakespeare wrote because the language is so compact, so powerful, and so filled with relevant imagery. The tension is unremitting and makes you squirm.
By contrast, the Knight's Tale is one of the dullest stories you could possibly hope to read and admire for its virtuosity without experiencing much enjoyment. Although the same plot is developed, few emotions will be aroused in you. When Fletcher is writing in this play, the development is slow, the content lacks much emotion, and you find yourself reaching for a blue pencil to strike major sections as unnecessary.
In fact, this play would not be worth reading except for the exquisite development of the dilemmas that are created for Emilia. Her pain will be your pain, and you will want to escape from it as much as she does. In these sections, you will find some of Shakespeare's greatest writing.
I also was moved by the way several scenes explored the duality of cousinly friendship and affection occurring at the same time that lethal passions of love and jealousy are loose.
Although this play will probably not be among your 50 favorites, you will probably find that it will sharpen your appetite for and appreciation of Shakespeare's best works.
I also listened to Arkangel recording, and recommend it. The performances are fine, the voices are easy to distinguish, the music is magnificent, the singing adds to the mood nicely, and you will find your engagement in the play's action powerfully increased over reading the play.
When do you lose control over your emotions? What does it cost you? How could you regain control before harm is done?
May you find peaceful, positive solutions to all of your dilemmas!
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The author, however, does bash other diets, either because his publishing company's marketing department makes him, or because it's election year and it's just in the air.
I found it interesting that he also bashed high carb, 10% fat diets. The original 'Eat to Win' would have fallen into this category.
Like other reviewers have stated, his 'ultimate ratio' is actually 2 different ratios. One for fat loss, and one for maintenance. The fat loss ratio is very close to 'The Zone' but isn't as strict with food combining and doesn't vilify starch. Many will find it more 'doable' than 'The Zone', and athletic types may feel better on it as 'The Zone' can make you feel a bit flat if you train hard. The maintenance ratio is close to what Dr Andrew Weil prescribes in his latest book.
The author makes some very good points about carbohydrate metabolish that counteract the carbo-phobia that is so prevalent in recent diet books. This discussion is almost worth the price of the book.
Overall, his plan is very reasonable, flexible, and easier to follow than most. It will probably work better than 'The Zone' for athletic people, and it will be a breath of fresh air for people who like pasta, potatoes, and bananas.
I gave it 4 out of five stars because I found the hype and bashing of competitors tiresome, but I thought 'the meat' of the book was excellent.
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