Today, Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love. And to start us off, I’m sharing my newly created 2016 Richard Armitage Valentine wallpaper (below). I hope that you enjoy it.
When we are little children, love is simple—milk and cookies, our warm blankie with the silky edging, our thumb to suck as our index finger rubs the length of our nose, our stuffed bear Winnie (from Winnie the Pooh), the soft and drooling lick of our pet, and a cuddle with our Mommy, etc.
As we grow older, we realize that love can take many forms—going Christmas caroling in blinding and very cold snow around the two blocks of your neighborhood with your best friends and our brothers (sometimes getting cookies at neighbors houses where you sing), liking that your brother yells back at the jerk who called you a name as they drove past your playing tennis with your backside to the street, attending Weight Watchers meetings with a neighborhood Mommy who kindly takes you with her even though she really didn’t need to go, Trick or Treating for UNICEF because a kid somewhere far away can be helped by the donations that you and other children like you fundraise, etc.
And as we become adults, love can become more complicated for us as romance sometimes enters the scene. When is it right? Who feels it? Who has it? Who wants it? Who is in want of it? Who deserves it or not? Who remembers it? Etc. And love is not without its drawbacks: of being completely distracting, of being sheer joy, of being unreturned, of being impossible, of being refused, or of being in spite of all that has transpired, etc.
Below is sound clip of one of my favorite Shakespeare sonnets (#116) that embodies the
constancy of love—and it is read by the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage on his wonderful “Classic Love Poems” cd by Audible released February 2015:
And below is the text of Sonnet 116 courtesy of the Poetry Foundation for you to read along with the audio clip:
“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.”
In the end, love is a gift that we bestow, or a gift that we receive. And as a giver, we can choose to love without any expectations for the receiver. Having the love for them is sometimes enough—or at least, what sustains us. Just as our memories can sustain us when memories of love are all that we have left.
So I hope that in your life, you experience love in one or more of its four classical forms: in friendship (philia), in romance (eros), in community/humanity (agape), and/or in family (storge).
Because as I have experienced love–through community, family, friends, and my dear sweet husband (my very own delightful and joyous distraction)–love is worth having. The following bible verses from 1 Corinthians 13 (NCV) were read at our wedding are an illustration of the meaning/definition of love:
“4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. 5 Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. 6 Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. 7 Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.”
The last verse about being accepting and trusting are sometimes difficult to do. But hoping is the seed necessary for enduring. So try to keep hoping—as will I.
And since you are visiting my little blog today—Valentine’s Day–I wish you much Hugs & Love!