Valentines day. I looked at it with suspicious disdain growing up. What is it but a loud reminder to a pink confetti soundtrack that you are a) alone b) with someone too daft to get good dinner reservations three months in advance? Surely the latter has ended many a romance in full bloom. Call me the Scrooge of Valentines Day but why show my love on one particular day of the year more than any other? But then again, why not? A nice steak at Morton’s followed by the best chocolate cake in the world in Kashif’s company is welcome any day of the week, any day of the year.
Please forgive the cheese with a side order of cheese, but many years ago I read this poem by Khalil Gibran… utterly befuddled. I now understand the wisdom of his words and share with you my favorite poem on the ever exhausted subject of love.
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.