Lessons in love…

 

My own Valentine arrived early this year. Not once but twice! On Saturday, a card from the US arrived – a dear friend and her husband, who worry about my singleton status and send me a valentine’s card every year…It’s nice to know I am loved. That’s a good thing!

And…After months of feeling rubbish, a series of MRI and CT scans, blood tests, and countless X-rays (any more and I would feel like a microwaved chicken with a bad tan)…still no news, no card in the post. No hearts or flowers…That’s probably a good thing, too!

Both events have got me thinking. If life is a gift, then love is the ribbon that ties it all together. It’s been over a year since the man I loved ripped my heart out and handed it back to me on a platter.  It’s been a year since the pain in my side has meant extended visits to the local NHS hospital. Long. Complicated. You really don’t want to know, but… ok...I’ll admit, It still hurts...

Nevertheless instead of a diatribe against the perils of love…instead of being morose and despairing on Valentine’s day…I’ve decided I’m going to focus on the gifts love has given me…

  • Gift #1. The gift of poetry. My first serious boyfriend at uni was partial to Irish poets. He gave me a ring engraved with the words from a William Butler Yeats poem.  The ring was tossed into the Thames a long time ago, but the poem lives on!
  • Gift #2. The gift of humour. My 2nd serious boyfriend was English. He endowed me with a love of British humour, and the ability to see the profound in the ridiculous. This is why I can laugh at myself!
  • Gift #3. The gift of music. Another amour taught me love to all music, to the point that I am now the arbiter of cool for my younger sisters as far as beats go!  Well, in my not so secret life I blog for a music website! Thanks…now I know there is more to music than Randy Crawford…
  • Gift #4. The gift of forgiveness. Aforesaid man… he of the heart-ripping, platter-handing mode…well, that was my greatest gift of all. He taught me to let go of things I don’t comprehend and cannot fix. He could only lie, so he taught me to speak the truth even if it meant risking the loss of what I thought I held dear.  He taught me to choose my own destiny because he could not choose for himself.   He made me laugh. He made me love.  But most of all he made me cry. He also made me see what I was not when I was with him…and that…that was enough to set me free!
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine…

Given my rather jaundiced view of love, you would be forgiven for thinking this blog would be a diatribe about the perils of giving your heart to the wrong person.  Moreover, the actions of a recent, but now extremely ex lover –  he is definitely on my ‘I regret you and hope you die slowly and painfully’ list – made me wonder whether this blog should be fair warning to those tender souls who still think hearts and flowers mean something.

So far, so cynical…

Actually, St Valentine was a Roman martyr who was killed for marrying Christian couples around 269 A.D. and was stoned and then beheaded. Not terribly loving of Emperor Claudius!  Not a card or flower or soft toy in sight!  Nevertheless, I’ve decided that on a day which celebrates romance it would be fitting to share one of my favourite poems.   I read it at my sister’s wedding, and I reproduce here for everyone who has ever felt that toe-tingling, heart-stopping, crazy little thing called love.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

I carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me
(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it
(anywhere i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you
are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)