As a self-professed hopeless romantic, I have mixed feelings about Valentine's Day. I like that we have a day to celebrate the act of love, being loved, and just being with someone. However, as someone who hates pressure, stuff, and forced obligations, I hate it.
I hate feeling like "this day above all days you should be in love." You need to buy someone flowers and have a fancy dinner. Even complaining about the day has become cliche. Being single on the day
But I'd like to do all those things, a lot. I like showing my love, whether it's been with a girlfriend, a friend, or any other connection in my life. I like telling people how much they mean to me. My catchphrase when I'd had a bit too much to drink is usually, "I appreciate the role you play in my life."
I haven't dated in a while and this is one of the few times in my life where I've been ok with it. I don't feel the pressure of needing to be with someone.
After writing No. 80, 81, and 82 today, I thought that maybe this exercise is an act of love.
I've been listening to the program "On Being" a lot lately. I like the nuanced, broad approach to spirituality it covers. They had the poet Mary Oliver on the other week and they recorded her reciting her poem "Wild Geese." Here's a snippet I liked...
"You do not have to be good. / You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. / You only have to let the soft animal of your body / love what it loves. / Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
I've tried to force things and walk through that desert because I think I'll come out on the other side smarter and things will work out how they plan. I don't need to do that.
Valentine's Day or not, I'll just keep trying to love what it loves. And right now that means writing letters. As always, if you want one, send me your address.
Last Letter: No. 82 to Cambridge, Mass.
Reading: "Love Illuminated" by Daniel Jones
Listening: The Mountain Goats
Watching: Boyhood/Friday Night Lights