Friday, February 14, 2014

A Clarification on St. Valentine's Day

             Be it a recovered Pagan Holiday from Roman times under the guise of Christianity or a Hallmark holiday left out in the rain, St. Valentine’s Day is an important holiday. While most people say that every regular day is an opportunity to love, I say that this day in particular is really a great reminder of what love really means.

             Love is certainly different for all of us. I know that I have loved many people in many different ways. Yet I still appreciate love in a very profound way. Love is important to me. It stands for trust, acceptance, honesty, compassion, empathy and warmth. I say warmth at the end there because when I think of love I think of a warm and cozy environment. A roaring fire in a fireplace and a special person to snuggle with on a cold winter’s eve is an ideal picture of that warmth. I’ve of course, never had a fireplace or dated a woman that had one either, I can only speculate on what my imagination considers warming love.

             I do not think of St. Valentine’s Day as a Hallmark Holiday though. I am not that cynical and I do still believe very much in the power of love. (Cue Huey Lewis) I think that love between two people is a real and amazing event that transcends time and space. I believe in it wholly and think it is marvelous. When I see two people in genuine love I get a little misty. I think there is no more beautiful thing between humans than love. It is an abstract concept however. Love.

             We really don’t know what it is. Is it a biochemical reaction to the release of certain pheromones? Is it a bonding instinct left over from our days as pre-evolutionary homo sapiens? Is it alien control? Is it just a fiction created by a religion to encourage people to stay with their tribe? I don’t really know, but what I do know is that it exists and I see examples of it every day. It is our capacity for love that makes humans so very unique. We want it and we want to give it. We want it in our lives. We are aware of the consequences of a loveless life and do all that we can to avoid it.

             I like love. I miss love. I miss the love of a woman, present in my life, in the very here and now hoping the very best for me and I miss doing the same for her. I like to give love. It’s a shame that we all have to hide our love for each other due to societal protocol. Although I will admit my guilt in this matter as well since I tend to treat love with an almost Edwardian/Victorian air. A sort of cloistered and reserved feeling I hide beneath my lapel. Yet, it’s still there, beating and humming, under my ribs. I feel it quite often actually. I probably fall in love at least three times a day; with bartenders, waitresses, women walking their dogs.

             I fall in love with ideas, I fall in love with the imagined life I would have with a woman, I fall in love with the sparkle and smile on a woman’s face even when I know I shouldn’t. I’m fiercely jealous for my loves and feel deeply the wounds of un-reflected adoration.  I just know that it’s important. Somewhere deep in my soul I just know that it counts for something and I want it ever the more.

             Love, especially on this St. Valentine’s Day is a real thing and should not be chalked up as some corporate greeting card holiday, but a real and true celebration of the greatest achievement of humankind. Our capacity for true and real love, real or imagined, exists. And it deserves a day of recognition. It is our greatest strength and at times our greatest weakness, but it is truly ours and we should own it as best we can.



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