Normally this would be the point where the grand comedy would commence and you would instinctively start laughing because you knew what was going to come next would be so funny you would be busting a gut.
But I’m going to be serious for a moment.
Okay moment over.
No just kidding. I’ll give seriousness a few moments here.
Today happens to be Valentine’s Day and there are many couples out there no doubt enjoying their evening with their significant other. Then, there are others, such as the Rambler here, who fall into the camp of not being currently in a relationship, and may be enjoying their evening with their significant other, if by that you mean pint of ice cream or the company of a book/movie/insert inanimate object here. It would be easy to just put up something about this day being a greeting card holiday or declare to the heavens that your valentine is you or some other post of its all about me. But there’s such a shallowness and a defensiveness to a response like that. If this holiday gives us anything, it should give us the chance to reflect on the nature and meaning of love.
If we are to simply give into the simplistic commodification of love and personify it in the giving of “stuff” as the symbol of true love, there would be many that arrive at the frustration of having the means to provide “stuff” but not the option to do so. A holiday such as this one, where cards and candy and jewelry are considered the gold standard by which the day should be celebrated, is it any wonder that people who do not have anyone to give these things too feel that the whole thing is a made up scam? They curse their fate and decry the hollowness of the holiday, but in their desire to decry its “scam nature”, they fall into the trap of implicitly agreeing with its basic guidelines. The more energy expended, whether positively or negatively thinking of love as the collection of “things”, the less energy we provide to the consideration of other, more important tenements of love.
Love is not a singular thing. It simply cannot be. Love is always defined by its duality. Its an ancient emotion that has been born and continued from the dawn of man, no matter what origin story you subscribe to. Its modern as those involved or those who want to be involved invoke the technology of their age in order to be able to participate, grow, or celebrate in it. It is perverse in its mixture of bodies behind private doors. It is profound in its ability to influence poetry, fiction, and non-fiction in the never ever attempt to understand it. It is a separateness of two differing elements that combine to form a whole that in turn produces its own elements. It is quiet in its small expressions to demonstrate it and its loud in our choice to declare its existence in front of others when enshrining our love for our eternities.
There is no simply perfect definition of what love is because love is subject to so many elements, of which the mixture is determined by the parties involved, not of a predetermined nature. Which is why it is so important, when the dawn of the day after Valentine’s Day comes, we choose not to let the ripples of love fade away into the either. These ripples that begin on a single day, should grow in stature, not shrink from it. We would do well to declare our love not just on one day, but on all. It is not easy, and the pain of potentially being shut out of it has certainly caused, myself included, to question whether this or that person might want to begin a journey with us to such an extent that it has left us tongue-tied. Fear has caused many of us not to pursue and we would do well to lay it down for just a minute and ask the object of our desires for that one opportunity to see if love is there. If we are rejected, we lick the wounds to begin the healing process and remember that while we may not have joined the chorus this time, we may yet have other opportunities to have our voices brought and blended in. If silent, we are left to be pushed into the darkness. It is certainly well within our right to do so. However, for me, there is far more to be potentially discovered within the light.