Experiments in photography, jewelry making, mosaics, and other artistic obsessions
14 February 2011
The Sunday Creative: Affection
Max and Rocky haz a luv
Lucy out on a hike, 2009
I like this week's Sunday Creative theme, but I have a confession: I am not a fan of Valentine's Day. Never have been, in fact, and it's probably because of the expectations -- if I'm part of a couple, I have to do certain things (give a card, make dinner reservations, etc.; my ex-husband had a LOT of expectations and I never seemed to meet them, so that could have fueled my cynicism just a bit), and if I'm not part of a couple, well, I feel left out, I guess. Except that last night, as I helped the kids with their Valentines for school, I realized I have a totally different kind of love now: the real kind. Maybe someday I'll believe in romantic love again -- I know it's out there in the world because I know people who have had truly loving partnerships, but at some point in the last 3 years, since ending a painful marriage and enduring an even more painful divorce, I let go of the notion that it's for me. "They're writing songs of love, but not for me," croons Ella Fitzgerald; that song is at the top of my Pity Party Playlist... except, again, I realize now that I have an entirely different kind of love in my life now, thanks to my kids and, I dare say, my big dog Lucy. It is total, unconditional, encompassing, crazy and exhausting sometimes because the two little people have their own minds and are learning all about asserting themselves, and this kind of love is worth far more than any dozen roses or box of chocolates because the love I have for them and that they have for me is helping me learn to love myself in a new way. Not conditionally, as in, I have to do this or be that to be okay and worthy; I am worthy right here and now. It's still not an entirely comfortable concept for me, but I'm getting there. I see love all around me, when I let go of my expectations of what "love" is supposed to be.
And thus ends this sermon, which came out less cynical than I expected. Walk in beauty, my friends; it is all around you -- and within you, too.