“I’m going to write a blog after I eat,” I said to my love.
He responded, “Aww Man!”
This month is the month that single people mourn lost relationships and in recent years have gotten together to crash bars, and other swanky shin-digs to avoid being alone on the night in question, February 14th. We know that St. Valentine was no love machine at all. It is rumored that St. Valentine was like a Hitler in his day and is responsible for a massacre. There are rumors that a poem by Chaucer was the link that made Saint Valentine’s Day about romantic love.
“The earliest evidence of an association between Saint Valentine’s Day and celebrating romantic love is in a 14th-century poem by Chaucer,” said Caroline Eckhardt, head of Penn State’s Department of Comparative Literature. “The title of the poem is the ‘Parliament of Fowls,’ and the events described in it occur on St. Valentine’s Day. The poem tells a story about birds who come to an assemblage or parliament to choose their mates.” Most of the birds, who speak as if they were human, find partners, but the leading female bird is desired by three male suitors, and the poem ends with a year’s postponement in deciding the outcome of this romantic quadrangle. – Taken from PHYSORG.com
Some people attribute the Al Capone Valentine’s Day Massacre in reference to Valentine’s Day, as it was recorded in the Chicago Tribune in 1929. However, Valentine’s Day predates this likely coincidence. You can look up the History of Saint Valentine and the actual day on any search engine. There are myths, legends, and somewhere in there is the true story.
What do kids really care about?
Tonight, I was resting, preparing for writing a blog, waiting for the word clouds in my head to begin to draw inspiration. I begin to be filled with love, overwhelmed to the point of tears- thinking about this beautiful man that I was next to. He, fallen fast asleep after a moving tribute to Alex Haley with stars like Cicely Tyson, and Mario Van Peebles among others- that made me think about family and the togetherness of it all.
As I prepare for Thursday, where I am going to be a guest speaker at a high school for a handful of teenage girls who are in the most difficult times of their lives, I started thinking about what I would want to say. I have been pondering about relevant activities that would engage them and the message, what exactly do I want the message to be?
Since I have begun my journey with this blog, my memoir, and the dvd I am trying to become more familiar with important dates. February is not only a day labeled to celebrate St. Valentine it is a month of awareness for Teen Dating Violence.
Numbers and statistics are good for the government, and grants, but kids don’t care about numbers to be honest. They want to know what is popular, and how to relate to their peers. Empowering them to choose which peers to relate to, and how to access the leader within is the real question. It would be beautiful if we could walk into classrooms and throw numbers out like one in three teenagers experience teen dating violence- and the kids listen. But, isn’t being a teenager about feeling invincible and being smarter than your parents?
One of the things that we will talk about on Thursday is what the girls believe love is, and more importantly what does love do? Love is an action word, so we are going to explore what love is, and what love does, in this way I will have the opportunity to talk about what love does not do, without the girls feeling condemnation for any violence that they may be dishing out or taking in, in their relationships.
Volunteerism: The Dispassionate Truth
Last week, I went into a church to discuss providing some community service; volunteer support. You and I both know that I am a writer. I can write big or small, on a wall with paintbrushes and beautiful colors, or inside of a tightly bound leather journal. I can write tap dancing my fingers across my keyboard, or on scraps of receipt paper and the back of unopened envelopes with frustrating invoices that await my acknowledgement inside.
This church, and the man I approached to ask for the volunteer work in which I am donating is familiar with me. He offered me the position, what position you ask? I was asked to go present myself to the Facilities Director of the church to submit my availability. I have sat aside a particular part of my life for the next few weeks to fulfill this important opportunity. Did you pick up on the title Facilities Director?
The church I speak of has an empty warehouse on one side, and it has been the storage and trash area as I learned today. Everything from old dry wall, to new chairs were in there. I spotted a Suzuki Motorcycle to my surprise.
What does love do?
You’re probably wondering what in the god-blessed world this has to do with love. I shared with my love last week that I had been assigned to the warehouse of the church, to clean it up. He woke up this morning, and accompanied me to the church. We worked together in the warehouse, and four hours later we were complimented on the work that we had completed. I have never taken out the trash from my own kitchen!
I could not have done this without him. I am far from lazy, but I am scared of vermin. I am terrified of being in a warehouse environment where I could be playing peek-a-boo with some animal that some people jokingly say is more scared of me, than I am of it. I don’t even like cartoons with pretend-talking rodents. The thought of being in the warehouse and something racing across the floor as if my eyes were playing tricks on me makes me was to excrete fluids from my body, and I’m not talking tears.
My man; my love; He was my hero today. He picked up things that I would not have been able to pick up. He showed physical strength and leadership. He told me that he was the supervisor. Ha! That would be kinky if we weren’t doing the hanky-panky before marriage. Honestly, if he weren’t there I would have been a burden to the people who assigned me the task. It doesn’t make sense to me that they would assign a woman that kind of detail work but I digress.
Here’s where the love part gets mushy. My love has been consistently loving, supportive and a hero of sorts to me since we first begin dating. And today, as I do about once a week, I began to be overcome with thanksgiving for him always being there for me. Today was a day of labor for me, but his labor was out of love.
So to answer the question, what does love do? Love does whatever it takes to lighten your load, to lift a burden from your chest or your shoulder. Love is a flowing spirit; energy that is not stagnate like the sound inside of a home with no working electricity. Love acts out of itself.
As I think about writing tonight, my body flustered by the racing of my word clouds in my mind, I finally quit trying to take that cat nap. I couldn’t sleep, not because of some bad dream or even the exhaustion of the day- it was the way he loves me that wouldn’t let me sleep. I wanted to show him my love. And, then like some kind of road runner that came clear across the pathway of my thoughts inside, a screeching halt! I can’t show him that. Thanks to my many talents, that expression of love can wait. What I can do however is let him sleep peacefully, and awake him with a meal that will put his socks back on. And, so I go in the kitchen, clearing my mind and decide to make a meal purely out of love and not out of hunger or to somehow make up for the way that he loved me earlier. It was a moment to exert my own energy so not to overwhelm him. As you can tell, I have a lot of love to give.
And, about twenty minutes and a few smoke detector alarms later, here is what I did for him.
Turkey Chops, marinated in Goya MoJo Criollo, sprinkled with garlic, and onion with a dash of olive oil. Leftovers are amazing! Leftovers have the divine opportunity to gain the perfect flavoring- if you know how to cook! So, I added some leftover Lima Beans that were smothered in smoked Turkey drumstick. I made some spinach that had a dash of the marinated Turkey that I cooked in the base with a touch of olive oil. And, to bring this baby home, I made some white rice seasoned with a bouillon cube and the marinated dressing for the meal that the Turkey Chop was cooked in.
He woke up alright! He loved the meal and I could tell that we were both in a moment overwhelmed by love. While we ate dinner, I felt this rush of words coming together. It was like putting the parts of an orchestra together after practicing sections have learned their parts. It was like the first note that the dude on THE VOICE! sang after the Super Bowl last night, which made all four coaches turn around. I love it when writing hits me like a rushing mighty wind!
I entered the next paused moment, and said, “I’m going to write a blog after I eat.” I knew that I had to share this moment with teen girls who are trying to understand what love is, and what love does. Love is, the one that I share my time with, who says “Aww Man” when I write a blog because although we have nothing specific to talk about, he just wants to Occupy Ressurrection.
What Love does is maintain such freedom in a relationship, you would never feel battered, ashamed, degraded or awkward about being who you are. Love is a spiritual experience, not to be confused with a day, a feeling or a period of time. It is infinite, and mature.
What Love does, is show you clearly what love is, every day without trying. It is as clueless, and inherent as breathing. Love is God, and all God does is give himself.
– Ressurrection Graves