Tag Archives: St. Valentine’s Day

What Love Really Is

Normally I post this around St. Valentine’s Day, but since this weekend saw the release of a certain movie involving the color grey that spreads some pretty bad misconceptions about love, I decided to go ahead and share the commentary from Yours, Mine, and Ours that defines what love really is.

“It’s giving life that counts. Until you’re ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won’t keep it turning. Life isn’t a love in; it’s the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and ground round instead of roast beef. And I’ll tell you something else–it isn’t going to bed with a man that proves you’re in love with him; it’s getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.”

 

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The Obligatory St. Valentine’s Day Post

St. Valentine’s Day isn’t my favorite of holidays, but I tolerate its existence for the chocolate it provides. Still, though, I think it’s important to take a day to celebrate those we love most–it doesn’t even have to be a significant other; it can (and should) include family and friends as well (although St. Valentine still wants his feast day back).

This year I decided to post something different for the occasion. I’m currently re-reading Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, and in the course of reading, I found a song that Quasimodo would occasionally sing, which Esmeralda would overhear as she fell asleep in the bell tower of Notre Dame. Since it’s been a couple of years since I’ve read Hunchback, I’d forgotten about the existence of this poem, but I realized I liked it and decided to share it here with you.

Look not at the face,
Young maiden, look at the heart:
The heart of a handsome man is often deformed.
There are hearts that cannot hold love for long.

Young maiden, the pine tree is not handsome
Nor fair like the poplar;
But it keeps its leaves in wintertime.

Alas, why say that?
Beauty loves only beauty–What is not fair ought not to be–
April turns her back on January.

Beauty is perfect;
Beauty can do all.
Beauty is the only thing that does not live by halves.
The raven flies only by day,
The owl, only by night,
The swan flies night and day.

“But, Emerald,” you say, “it doesn’t rhyme; how can you call it a poem?” Well, in the book Hugo comes out and says that the poem had no rhyme “such as a deaf man might make.” Quasimodo was deaf, which would explain why it didn’t rhyme. Of course, considering how this is a translation from French, I wouldn’t be surprised if the original did rhyme in French but can’t rhyme in English without completely reworking how the poem is structured.

I’m not sure why this captured my attention, especially since I’m not a poem person–maybe it has something to do with the fact that Victor Hugo was simply a good writer.

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Post Valentine’s Day

I hope you all had a good Valentine’s Day. Whether you love it or hate it, at least it involves chocolate, so that’s a reason to tolerate its existence.

St. Valentine still wants his feast day back, though, as Eye of the Tiber reports: http://www.eyeofthetiber.com/2014/02/13/st-valentine-makes-impassioned-plea-for-safe-return-of-kidnapped-feast-day/. Honestly, I can’t really blame him for feeling this way.

However you celebrated today, I hope you at least had a chance to reflect on the challenges and joys of real love.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

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The St. Valentine’s Day Post

I forgot to do this last year, so I’m making up for it this year–happy St. Valentine’s Day to my loyal readers! The fact that you take the time to read these crazy little posts of mine truly means a lot. I’m not a big fan of the mushier aspects of the holiday–makes me gag, truth be told–but I like the idea of taking a day to let the people in our lives know that we care about them, whether we’re romantically involved with them or not. Oh, and the chocolate makes it tolerable, too.

How did the feast day of at least three different martyrs all named Valentine become immortalized as a day of love? (I say three because there are records of three different martyrs named Valentine sharing the feast day of February 14). Apparently the custom started in England and France in the Middle Ages when people noticed that the birds started choosing their mates around the middle of February–the 14th since February has 28 days. So people decided that February 14 would be a good day to express their love for each other as well.

In keeping with that theme, here is a very insightful speech on the nature of love from the 1968 comedy Yours, Mine, and Ours with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. For those of you who don’t know, Yours, Mine, and Ours is the story of how the widower father of ten children marries a widowed mother of eight–and it’s based on a true story, believe it or not. If you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend it.

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