The past several weeks have been the longest I’ve gone without blogging since the birth of this site. Now, the month of it’s third Birthday, I find myself in a new home with a new four-legged family member.
(When we first viewed this place, I found myself thinking, “I can write here.” A few weeks later we’re all moved in and I can’t seem to find enough notebooks and pens. Our environments can affect our creativity so deeply, yes?)
The moving process always feels so vulnerable. Your hands touch every. single. thing. you own, and that moment determining it’s value can feel equally oppressive and insignificant.
The best parts have been purging so much to make room for only what I really love and what supports my ideas of beauty and inspiration (I can’t even remember what I’ve gotten rid of), the paint samples and furniture arranging and lazy nights giddy to just stare at the walls and all the other joys of nesting, and uncovering so many beautiful things I forgot meant something to me once.
I can’t remember where I first found this poem, but I’m so happy I scribbled it down years ago, and happier to have found it just in time to share with you today. It’s a long one, but worth the read for those lines that punch you in the gut with their beauty. Happy Valentine’s Day. xo
Belated Valentine: A Work in Progress by Steve Marsh
I woke this morning with that shadow feeling I’d
strong and powerful,
richly full of meaning.
But I was unable to recall them no matter how
hard I tried.
Chasing them only makes it worse,
like groping for the other tennis shoe
lost under the bed
just beyond reach
closing my hand on something
to discover it is only
so much dust and dog hair.
I closed my eyes,
and reached for that familiar place.
But the Universe asked me a question:
Why do I continue to love you?
And I began to answer immediately because
confidence is the feeling we have before we
understand the situation.
Why in the face of all we have seen
and failed to see in each other
do we persevere?
I begin to understand it is a matter of pride
and pride is, after all, what we have.
Vanity is what others have.
So, in pride or vanity I offer:
I love you because I have
always loved you.
And the Universe knows this is not the whole truth.
It knows it like it knows we can’t pray a lie.
I try again.
I love you because of all we have been through together.
And the Universe does not like this cliche any better.
It asks, with all the Aristotelian logic it can muster:
Do you not manifest “all that you have been through together”?
The Universe knows and will not let me get away with half a truth.
We have been through “all that”
because we have put each other through “all that”.
It asks another question:
How can you assert love after all you have seen?
The helplessness after surgeries;
The weakness in the face of adversity;
The cowardice in the face of confrontation;
nakedness at forty,
nakedness at fifty?
The knowledge that the final solution does not involve Bean-o.
And I begin, in answer, to list the qualities I admire in you:
But the Universe will not allow this equivocation either.
And because the Universe is a big believer in the Socratic Method,
Why do I love my dog?
I confess to perceiving a similar list.
The Universe sends me the Spring songbirds
who sing, and feed,
who show me community in bright red colors
and high energy.
The birds know nothing of our sorrow.
And the Universe asks again:
In the face of this sorrow, why do I continue to love you?
It is not because Mothers are better than Fathers.
It is not because women are better than men.
It is not because teaching is better than poetry.
It is not because daughters are better than husbands.
And slowly, the answer,
or rather the understanding that there is no
begins to reveal itself to me.
There is no aetiology for love.
I do not love you because
I do not love you in spite of
I do not love you since
I do not love you in so much as
I do not love you for the reason that
There is no reason.
no syllogistic proof.
It simply is.
I love you.
It comes about without cause.
And with luck it is returned
That is why love fits more aptly into poetry than paint.
It is not revealed to the mind through the eye.
It comes to the heart, through the nose and the fingertips.
The old poet had it right.
“Do not go gentle…”
Even here in this moment of doubt
I do not give up,
I do not go gentle,
Down by two in the bottom of the ninth,
I will take one more goddamned pitch!
And even if I fail
we will play again tomorrow.
The story of my life is told between parenthesis
which you open and you close.
And inside those parenthesis is one word.
It is (Hope).
… Whether you’re in romantic love or in love with life or in love with your own heart, recognize how very special that is. Love is hard work (worth it). It’s there every moment, a small vibrational hum, the ambient sound of day-to-day life: we notice it when it’s gone. Don’t take it for granted.
With Love, on Valentine’s Day,