Give Eros its due and its day. It can’t hurt to set aside February 14th to love out loud and then extend it to all the days before and after.
Is there anything more deserving of our time? Love is felt best when we give it away, when we release it, risk sending it out. It’s a dangerous exchange but hold it in and it withers. Sometimes the transaction can be disproportionate; we may feel cheated; get over it. It’s still worth it. We’re all the better for opening our heart. Of course it helps when reciprocated but it may be returned in gestures or even silently when we don’t know it. In any case we prepare ourselves in the process for receiving others.
I don’t mean to be preaching here; I’m talking to myself.
It helps to have a Peggy around, to always feel met. Love is reception, a welcoming, possibly a shift in channels, adjustment of pitch to clear the static.
It is far easier to write about morbidity or mortality than about love. The best words have been used up or degraded from over-use. Hallmark has made sentiment sound like gushes of mush. How to say what is felt in reinvigorating ways?
Cherish ...now there’s a word I don’t hear (or say) very often. It contains the French word, cher, dear… and also can mean to harbor deeply in the mind as a cherished memory. In love we are harbors for the voyage in and the portal out. So now I want to say, I cherish Peggy and this life we have together, this unlikely, sublime, simple and extravagant confluence.
When we first met, Peggy said our relationship would complicate my life. I celebrate our magnificent complication, this garden of wildflowers that split the rock and overthrew the walls, sunned and watered daily.
Over our 29 years together there is both a knowing and unknowing that happens at the same time. The closer we get the more we recognize an inviolable, mysterious core which also needs to be honored and loved.
From that source-place the imagination springs as a constant gift. We write and sometimes wonder where that idea or image came from. Peggy is aligned with her creative spirit like no one else I know. She enthuses with life which, at one time, meant to be divinely inspired or possessed by a god. I see creativity as a religious experience.
How did awe devolve to awful? The word awesome has had the awe removed from mis-use and gone limp. I need it back to describe what I feel as witness to her creativity…. her irrepressible presence transformed into art.
And here’s another word I don’t often use: rapt, as in rapture. Her response to the baby in the next booth, pods ready to burst, the dog-walker with her dogs, fallen leaves like fishes, tree trunks, stumps and the sun printing dried flowers against the wall…. all occasions for her rapt attention. She is carried away and in that ecstasy (out of stasis) brings the rapture back as an offering.
Let Valentine’s Day be an offering to each other of what we hold sacred, our private language, the vault of memories, our intimacy undiminished.