I refuse to write a love poem because, personally, I hate Valentine’s Day. I am a romantic when it comes to life. Everyone I know will tell you that. It’s that divine, delusional glass shard of optimism that some darkly-humoured god drove into my heart when I was sent [back] to Earth. But I do feel sour on Valentine’s Day, and I do strongly dislike the commercial exploitation of so many sacred and precious and exquisite things in our lives. Some things are too fragile to be manhandled and laid bare by the hard, steely arms of economic rationalism and materialism. Some things are priceless.
But, I am grateful for love. I am deeply grateful for the capacity to love, something I’ve always been a bit worried about, wondering just how big my heart actually is and whether hearts shrink as you get older and go through more traumas. Even if it kills me and [makes][made] me do stupid and embarrassing and destructive things, I am grateful for that ability. It was Elie Weasel, I believe, who exhorted that we live with sensitivity, even if it hurts. Wise man. I think it takes a certain amount of courage to be emotionally honest. And someone else who was wise said, “the brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.”
So, I am grateful for the ability to feel affection so strongly that, when I was younger, it would drive me to the outer ranges of despair. The intensity of feeling is a sign that you’re breathing. A sign that you’re alive, and that you have a heart, and that you’re still sensitive. That feeling comes from the same source that can feel, see and sense beauty, delicacy, sweetness, innocence, and love; that can feel protectiveness, and yes, that can love. I think, as we get older, the emotional lessons we learn– which are a totally different way of learning altogether from cognitive and intellectual lessons; and have a completely different sense of time, space and cause and effect– teach us to make better decisions even in the face of strong emotions, deep emotions; decisions that are better for us, no matter how much affection we have for a person or attachment we have to an outcome. They actually teach us to love better, I think.
I am grateful to be loved by family, friends, my little dog (the adorablest, huggablest, sweetest little fur-kid ever!).
Yes, strip away all the loneliness and pain of Valentine’s Day, the jealousy and resentment it evokes, and, at the core, I am deeply grateful for love.
Picture attribution: Plowing Through Life, One Day at a Time