thanks mr chaucer
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
["For this was Saint Valentine's Day,
when every bird cometh there to choose his mate."]
chaucer, parliaments of foules, 1382
i dare say happy valentine's day tonight, it is already over in my current time zone, however, since i quite often straddle both time zones (the eastern standard time zone. i suppose that's going to be home for awhile, whether i like it or not! ahaha the turn of fate!), i am going to scramble to put this last bit out. it is almost scary to think of posting such thoughts as i, ahem, fancy myself as a bit of dry cynical realist, cough cough.
saint valentine is a funny one. did you know that there are seven st. valentines who are registered by the roman catholic saints registry? but for 14.02, there is only one st. valentine designated. and believe it or not, it is the unruly red-pen writer chaucer who may have popularized saint valentine with the idea of romantic love. the fourteenth century in england mustve been a quite a funny place. hundreds years war, the great famine, the great schism of the west (three popes!), the bubonic plague- and the invention if knitting techniques.. i suppose they needed some sort of desperate hope to elevate themselves from the dark ages.
i am thinking about where i am in life. im poised to leave back soon to north america, no where anchored (not even debts, ahaha), many people i would like to see and be with but all being kind of far, or as i move around continuously, they all become far, the idea of love is a very taunting one. certainly you cant make me believe in this hallmark pink frilly love buttock-baring cherub with fat cheeks business! on top of that, he also shoots arrows! to unsuspecting bystanders, what an #*$!
apparently the mailing system also chokes today. it is estimated about a billion cards are sent around the world for v day (us greeting cards association). i havent done it for ages- sending v day cards, but that does not mean i am not affected by it, quite a contrary. this year, it also coincides with lunar new year's. and i am going to hold onto these two markers as lifesavers, as i know there may be some more rough time coming in near future with uncertainty works etc.
the romantic love- stemming from the courtly love of the middle ages, does not have to be the ultimate trump of all loves. in fact, it tends to be the weakest one. have you realize even the ultimate social institution of romantic love is always surrounded by somewhat expected situations of annulments and divorces? there are other types that just cannot be separated, hence, stands stronger. the bonds between families cannot be cut through the law. many tries to maul it by self-sanctioned ex-communication and screaming matches, but once a child is born, we can be certain there were (if not 'are') parents who were responsible. for friendship. the bonding of friendship can overcome the cracks of romantic love- as some of us have dear friends who transcedended from awkward courtship to solid friendship. the love of idealists and realists. the love of all things that are fragile. the unacquainted love. the list may go on and on.
it would be rather silly and very unlike me to celebrate valentine's day- what do you mean i can only celebrate the idea of love once a year? for someone who was stoned than hanged? no thanks, there are plenty of other great days, like... all days! but i suppose there is no harm done for letting the world know that i am thankful, whenever the day or time may be. so here it is, my greeting, quite a wide comment from chaucer's birdmating comment:
for the life that is fragile and somewhat distorted, you all contributed to make it bearable and even pleasurable. as an individual, i am weak and insignificant. but as an individual, i cant help but be part of the society. and what a nice thing it is to be welcomed in various overlapping communities by very dear people. there is no point of listing them individually, as the real connection does not need statements nor neon signs. unless one likes it *well i dont. so here it is to all of us, thanks and love to you all, single or attached, young or old, family or friends, from the past or continuing into the future,
have a great soppy valentine's day.
there's nothing richer than love,
whichever form it may come as.