February 14, 2017 – The Rose

– – –

What else but a flower would work for Valentine’s Day?

I’ve never really been interested in this holiday. External pressure to shell out some cash to show your significant other that you love them – as though it wouldn’t be more spontaneous and romantic to do that on any other day of the calendar year. I’ve never had much luck with this holiday, and never much appreciated long lines at restaurants and the procession of perpetually dissatisfied partners; when expectations are artificially inflated by marketers, it’s hard to clear the bar.

Maybe that’s just me, though.

This year was a little different, I must admit. My lovely girlfriend seems to share my attitude toward Valentine’s Day, which is a first. We both had to work today, and we both seem to feel the same about crowded restaurants and bullshit expectations. We spent some quiet time together and watched a couple of movies, and I had the best Valentine’s Day I think I’ve ever had as an adult.

This image is one of her favorites from my archive, so it makes perfect sense to share it all with you today. I hope you like it and, despite my antipathy, I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!


Lover’s Embrace


“Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it empowers us to develop courage; to trust that courage and build bridges with it; to trust those bridges and cross over them so we can attempt to reach each other.”

~Maya Angelou

– – –

Love is difficult to quantify, impossible to explain. I don’t possess the skill to describe the feelings of love that I have experienced in this short life. There have been moments of incredible intensity and tremendous pain, giddy uncertainty and unrelenting ecstasy. I’m certain that anybody reading these words will agree that passionate love is a glorious thing, that each of our experiences are unique and, somehow, surprisingly similar.

On this Valentine’s Day, I decided to forego with the condemnation I typically feel inspired to express. We have, all of us, already heard the arguments against the expense, the crowded restaurants, the expectations and the pressure. Rather than hammer-out a screed about the pitfalls of the holiday, I decided instead to nestle into the corner of a coffee shop and come up with a image of love that suits me.

This is the result, and I hope you enjoy it.
Happy Valentine’s Day.


Consumerism, Commoditization, and Courtship

The Weed


“Men always want to be a woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance.”
~Oscar Wilde

Today’s a great opportunity to pretend I care about this holiday, but I can’t. It’s history has been obscured by shiny-bright advertisements, hideous department-store jingles, and a woeful pressure to shuck out hard-earned dollars for trinkets that’ll be discarded and flowers guaranteed to die. Beyond its history being bastardized in the name of making a buck, much of it is sketchy at best. At least, like so many great Christian tales, it’s history is unconfirmed, and it’s absolutely drenched in blood.

But I won’t be going into that.

Color me a cynic, but I don’t require a specific mark on the calendar to express the love and adoration I possess – for anybody. I can’t actually recall a time when this holiday inspired a legitimate exploration of love, anyway. I haven’t met a soul who can. It’s a pretty tricky subject to begin with, better left to poets, philosophers, and artists than flowers.com, Russel Stover, and Hallmark.

Love is fierce, beautiful, and agonizing, and it’s different for everybody. In my life, my dreams have been haunted by crudely lit bodies on the edge of the darkness, and I can recall those adolescent moments where romantic love and sexual desire fused together. Just like everybody else, I’ve never been able to make sense of ’em, and I suppose that’s what’s so romantic about…romance.

At the end of the day, we’re socialized in one direction, and our instincts drag us in another. There’s a tension that surrounds our sexuality in a repressed society, and that’s why it occupies every corner of our popular culture. It’s in our sit-coms, our pop songs, our art, and our literature. We’re obsessed with it, likely because it’s a puzzle that can’t be solved.

Especially not by a cheap box of chocolates or a diamond ring in a champagne glass.