I can hear people inwardly groaning as the streets are paved in red and small white babies with wings float in the ethers. Argg…. Valentine’s Day is upon us people, let the games begin!
I believe it was Tolstoy who said, ‘Love is a present activity only. The man who does not manifest love in the present has no love’. Damn those Romantics who changed our notions of love! Or those writers who made us believe that knights were honorable and would aid a Lady in distress. When history shows another truth: knights only galloped to any female (rich by the way and widowed even better) if he could snatch up her fortune….by force usually. Or at the behest of some other ambitious dude was to cowardly to fight.
We have so many misconceptions around love. Once, long ago, it was rooted in the real. Perhaps because humans somehow felt the sharp edge of the apocalypse, love was entered into for practical reasons. Perpetuation of the species blah, blah, blah. Okay, yes…I am a musician who dabbles and deuces in romantic love with abandon, I admit. Yet, I cannot help but think perhaps our ancestors were on to something.
One cannot love, or know love, if it exists only in a small corner of one’s heart or mind. If it is rooted in escapism or fantasy. Something one recalls with exacting precision, mulls over in the dark hours when alone like a serial killer does all his victims…That is not love, surely? Leave those serial killer vibes to me, the musician, thank you very much!
‘An honorable relationships – that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word ‘love’ – is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved- is a process of refining the truths they can tell each other…’ opined Adrienne Rich. Hellyeah man. Or as my Mother once said, ‘Auriol, know when to keep your mouth shut….’ I will add in this bit, just for dramatic effect ‘ and when to take aim…’
The longer I am alive the less I know about…everything and love in particular. All I can tell my daughter without laughing or lying is this, ‘ Instead of wasting your time searching for something in another, find it in yourself. Whoever joins you does, but never make anyone the end and be all of your world.’ ‘Loving anybody and being loved by anybody is a tremendous danger…’ said James Baldwin.
This world is littered with people in search of love. It is nothing short of a gift when it comes knocking on one’s door. Everyone has their own strategy when dealing with love. Me? To safeguard my heart, I place impossible love into music. Once that has found its place I do my best to show love in concrete ways – in more than just words and music.
In fact I search and celebrate love wherever I find it. When I see my friends look at their young kids, or the tender care that exists between people and their pets, the undying passion exhibited by campaigners for social justice….any and everywhere where Love Is, there you will find me, notebook and pen in hand.
Later, I will let Ella sing ‘ These Foolish Things’, as I ready a meal for my family. Later there’s hanging with friends, talking nonsense and perhaps… sitting under a tree hoping sleep finds me as the thoughts of those I love most fit snuggest. Then, just when those feeling reach their apex and my hand fill with warmth, I will recall the words of a song. ‘Your Love’s the warmest place the sun ever shines….’ . That is how I intend to spend not only this day….but as many days as I am able to.