This week I got two Valentine’s cards in the mail. They were lovely and thoughtful and a great reminder that Singles Awareness Day is just nine short days away! Of course, when I mentioned this elsewhere I got fussed at for calling it Singles Awareness Day, because I’m not single. Single or not though, the older I get the sillier I feel about most gift and Other People Awareness holidays. Not because I dislike people or gifts, but because I like people and gifts so much that I start to resent the added pressure of having to produce gifts and feelings on demand when I already happily do those things year round. It’s kind of like how sometimes you realize that you’re breathing and then it becomes harder to actually regulate your breath. You always end up breathing heavier or longer or shorter than you usually do because you’re suddenly self-conscious about the way your body operates. And that, my friends, is silly.
In general I shy away from writing about love in favor of tackling anger or confusion or fear, but one of the writing groups I’m a part of challenged its members to write a bit about it this month. It’s prompted a lot of thoughts and very few actual plot ideas. It’s been a frustrating experience, but in my most uncharitable moments that’s kind of how I feel about the subject anyway.
My feelings about love aren’t nearly as complicated as my feelings about hope, but they’re still a little to the left of the way that I was taught to feel about love as a child. Love is hard work. It’s easy for me to type those four words, but as I sit here trying to pull together a poem or short bit of prose about how love is hard work I find myself stumbling over all the heavy handedness and obviousness of the initial thought. The closest I’ve come is this paragraph.
Love, Joanie had found, was often rather dull. It was full of the trivial and mundane occurrences of daily life multiplied by the amount of people you felt love for. It lived in an entirely different place than passion and curiosity and all of the things that poets would tell you that love actually was. In reality, Joanie felt that love merely hid within those things, dressing itself up as something desirable in the same way that Sal wore bright jewelry. It was the reason that Joanie wouldn’t tell Sal that she loved her. The term was simply inadequate for the way that she was sometimes caught off guard by just how much affection and devotion she could feel for one person. She didn’t ever share these thoughts, so she couldn’t really blame Sal for the hurt that was harboured over Joanie not returning her affection.
It’s still heavy handed and obvious, but at least it gives me something more concrete to work with.
I have been dreadful at treating writing like a second job for the last month. I really need to work on that.