WHEN WINDOW shopping in Kitsilano recently, signs of a special day could not be ignored. The morphing of saints, mythological gods, romance and marketing were everywhere. February is the month when thoughts of love are punctuated by Valentine’s Day celebrated on the 14th of February.
Saint Valentine was a martyred priest in Rome who some legends say performed secret weddings for soldiers banned from marrying the young women they were engaged to during wartime. He would be shocked to know balloon bouquets, cupids, paper hearts, flowers and millions of boxes of chocolates are sold in his name.
Despite modern distortions, our affections have always run deep and gone beyond feelings for a partner or spouse. There is a parent’s love for a child and love for friends and even for pets. There is love of art and the beauty we see in symmetry and in nature. Sometimes it is easier to love than to be loved. Sometimes we need to love ourselves.
I am up in the air about love sometimes. There is love of money and possessions. There is love of God and country. There is love of a good joke or well-made strawberry shortcake. Love can be twisted. Love can be blind. Some who love from afar are unkind to those who are near. And it seems clear that those who love everyone can love no one in particular. Love can happen like a simple song or be complicated and hard won. Love can be boastful and glad. Unattainable love can make us feel sad, crumpled and teary-eyed. And the purest love, with no strings attached, never dies.
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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms