Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Many Splendored Thing

Today, of course, is Valentine's Day, and the whole world around me seems to have suddenly gone mushy, including my cats, who only seem to want to burrow and cuddle and talked to.

Well, actually, they could be asking for food, but that's more or less the same thing, isn't it?

It seems only proper that there should be a day set aside for this feeling that no one really seems to understand, only yearn for, illogical as it may be. We are told by lovers of lore, that this is like a sickness in the blood, that once this happens, one loses all appetite, all rest, as though one has drunk too much coffee, and all the colors and sensations feel highlighted in neon colors.

What is more, the literature of love warns us that there can only be one way love stories can end, with death! It all begins when eyes meet and ends when breath leaves body, sometimes, not even then!

All this sounds terribly uncomfortable, unnerving, and undignified, to say the least. Yet this is what differentiates living with full awareness of one's entire being, from simply drawing indifferent breath. This feeling we don't understand seems to govern our life and is as blended within our very existence, like a thread woven in a necklace, to transliterate the popular Hindi song.

Be that as it may, Love is a sad, if thriving business. You can buy disembodied, blood colored hearts on sidewalks, or from the suddenly ubiquitous traffic signal hawkers who knock on your car windows, beg you to get your beloved a balloon or blossom dipped in your heart's blood.

Then, there are the too-too red flowers that are so pathetic, so disturbing. Poor things: they are fed false messages and promises of possible procreation, forcibly inebriated with chemicals that urge them to bloom all the more hysterically in hopes of attracting hordes of bees and pollinators. Of course, no such thing happens; instead, they are snipped off, thrust, along with others of their kind in more alchemied, even coloring solvents, some even sprayed with painful glitter, to be sold as symbols of undying love, or at least as instruments of successful wooing.

Chocolates, I understand, delicious, rich, lethal in the long run, as tokens of love. But I am afraid I fail to understand the thriving business of hearts and flowers.

However, there is another, more effective way of wooing granted to us. More than chocolates, hearts, roses, and balloons, one could use the greatest gift bestowed upon humanity to woo one's beloved: poetry and words!

These last longer than flowers, feel softer than teddy bears and stuffed toys, are more redolent of emotion than saffron, can be varied and woven with more colors than rainbows, set truer than diamonds in that most fitting & priceless of cases, music, and instead of the guilt and teeth rot that are often accompanying specters of chocolates, words come with just sweetness and richness. They articulate, present, symbolize a whole plethora, an entire spectrum of feelings, at the same time apologize for their own inadequacy, a modesty glaringly lacking in the other objects associated with the expression of love.

So here is my suggestion to you: give your beloved a mirror decorated with verse that they may see themselves as only you can see them, their face framed by your regard.

Of course, a few chocolates and diamonds wouldn't hurt, the first well-vouched for as aphrodisiacs, the second promise to shine 'till all the seas gang dry, my dear, and th'rocks will melt wi' the sun. You could add a few blenders, hammers, or gardening gloves, if you are brave.

After all, love is a many splendored thing, sans rules, sans sense, and there are un-count-able ways to show how I love thee.


  1. Lots of poem possibilities here; I'll try not to poach them. Or maybe we should both write poems inspired by your post, and compare!

  2. Oh poach away, Kristin, if you think it well' it flatters me immensly that you think this entry has possibilities! And I too shall try to write something and we can again have one of your wonderful workshops we did a couple of years ago!