My Funny Valentine
On this Valentine’s Day, there is a deep sense of loss and sadness. Everyone’s life in some way has been diminished, many much more tragically than others. I am thinking of everyone across the country and around the world, stuck in their own unique circumstances. I am thinking of those who have lost partners, parents, children, and other loved ones. Of those who are trapped in dangerous relationships. Of those who have been extra careful and those who have flouted what public health demands. I am thinking of how this pandemic has frozen people’s lives, upending the multitude of small interactions between strangers and inner circles that added up to life.
I try to focus on what I can learn from this difficult period. My decision? To practice gratitude and acknowledge that every moment —no matter how small— brings a gift to the present. The warmth of a cup of coffee, the stretch of a daily walk, the beauty of the written word —all details that color our world a bit brighter. My biggest recent joy has been in the reading of poetry. If you will excuse the indulgence, I have recited Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Love’s Philosophy” for the occasion of Valentine’s Day at the link below. Perhaps, as we read the words together, it can provide a sense of connection and a bit of beauty on this holiday. Think of it as a love letter of sorts to our digital community here. (After all, we are “going steady.”)
Love’s Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?—
See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?
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