Sweethearts candies for Valentine's Day

Sweethearts candies for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day card

Valentine’s Day card

I like the following paragraph about love, which reminds us that Love is a sacred responsibility, a sacred trust.  It seems appropriate to reflect on the duties of loving well on this Valentine’s Day 2017 because given today’s political climate, we feel called upon to fight fiercely to protect what we love and value.

“It isn’t enough to love a child and wish her well.  It isn’t enough to open my heart to a bird-graced morning.  Can I claim to love a morning, if I don’t protect what creates its beauty?  Can I claim to love a child, if I don’t use all the power of my beating heart to preserve a world that nourishes children’s joy?  Loving is not a kind of la-de-da.  Loving is a sacred trust.  To love is to affirm the absolute worth of what you love and to pledge your life to its thriving — to protect it fiercely and faithfully, for all time.”
— Kathleen Dean Moore, “The Call to Forgiveness at the End of the Day,”  from A Sense of Wonder:  The World’s Best Writers on the Sacred, the Profane, & the Ordinary, ed. Brian Doyle

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Advertisements

Profligate Kindness

February 12, 2017

Valentine's Day card

Valentine’s Day card

Be Kind
by Michael Blumenthal, from No Hurry

Not merely because Henry James said
there were but four rules of life—
be kind be kind be kind be kind— but
because it’s good for the soul, and,
what’s more, for others; it may be
that kindness is our best audition
for a worthier world, and, despite
the vagueness and uncertainty of
its recompense, a bird may yet wander
into a bush before our very houses,
gratitude may not manifest itself in deeds
entirely equal to our own, still there’s
weather arriving from every direction,
the feasts of famine and feasts of plenty
may yet prove to be one, so why not
allow the little sacrificial squinches and
squigulas to prevail? Why not inundate
the particular world with minute particulars?
Dust’s certainly all our fate, so why not
make it the happiest possible dust,
a detritus of blessedness? Surely
the hedgehog, furling and unfurling
into its spiked little ball, knows something
that, with gentle touch and unthreatening
tone, can inure to our benefit, surely the wicked
witches of our childhood have died and,
from where they are buried, a great kindness
has eclipsed their misdeeds. Yes, of course,
in the end so much comes down to privilege
and its various penumbras, but too much
of our unruly animus has already been
wasted on reprisals, too much of the
unblessed air is filled with smoke from
undignified fires. Oh friends, take
whatever kindness you can find
and be profligate in its expenditure:
It will not drain your limited resources,
I assure you, it will not leave you vulnerable
and unfurled, with only your sweet little claws
to defend yourselves, and your wet little noses,
and your eyes to the ground, and your little feet.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2016

Watercolor sketch, rosemary wreath

Watercolor sketch, rosemary wreath

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2015

Watercolor sketch of snowdrops

Watercolor sketch of snowdrops

“I like my body when it is with your body.
It is quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.”
—  e.e. cummings

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”
— Emma Goldman

Watercolor sketch of rose petal heart

Watercolor sketch of rose petal heart

IMAGE_2007

IMAGE_1998

Watercolor sketch of rose petal heart

Watercolor sketch of rose petal heart

 

 

 

Love stamps

Love stamps

“To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything and your heart will be wrung, and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with your hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
— C. S. Lewis, quoted in In Pursuit of Love:  Catholic Morality and Human Sexuality by Vincent Genovesi

I love this reminder to keep my heart soft, vulnerable and open.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

A jogger encounters a Valentine's Day reminder along the path at Green Lake.

I love the idea of “Art in the Park,” and perhaps even more so when the art appears to pop up spontaneously without the sponsorship of a formal event.  So the Valentine’s Day art at Green Lake was an unexpected delight.  Here are some of the images from my Valentine’s Day walk around Green Lake:

A bouquet of real roses sheltered in the hollow of a Southern Catalpa tree at Green Lake.

Detail of Valentine's Day roses

Valentine garland circles a tree along the path at Green Lake.

I think the rowers were oblivious to this installation of hearts.

A curtain of red carnations dangles near a park bench.

The screen of dangling carnations wafts in the breeze off the lake.

Art in the Park on Valentine's Day

A spot of red, an apple in the crook of a tree at Green Lake

Apple art: another apple impaled on a tree branch at Green Lake

Even this lost fleece jacket, hung on the corner of a park bench, resembled a red Valentine's Day heart.

A heartfelt thanks to the anonymous artists who shared their lovely Valentine’s Day art in the park with us.  And a special thank you to my friend Lynne, who sent me an early morning email urging me to get out for a walk to see these creations in their natural setting.