Death and Loving

Ah, Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day.  This is the first year I can ever remember when I haven’t either wanted a romantic Valentine’s Day or the not wanting it isn’t sour grapes.  There have been a few of those years, ones where I pretended to myself that I didn’t care but deep down it hurt that there wasn’t someone special to remember the day for me or I had someone who was careless about such things.  Right now, I am honestly happy just being who I am and love having my little girl as my Valentine.  As a result, this is a really nice Valentine’s Day, at least thus far.

Milla is so sweet.  Last night the two of us took heart cookie cutters and cut beeswax hearts for her classmates.  We then wrapped them in tissue paper and tied them off with yarn. As is often the case in these sorts of projects, I had the assembly line going.  There have been moments in the past where I go off half-cocked trying to be Martha Stewart mom and decided to make 28 Valentines from scratch.  16 Valentines in and 4 hours later I’m ready to slice my wrists with the scissors and poke the glue sticks in my eyes.  One year we hand-cut hearts from construction painting paper, then watercolored hearts on each one, then I helped Milla sign her name to each one.  It was fun for the first 8 or so, then Milla was getting mad because she was sick of signing her name and I was getting mad because there was paint on the ceiling and walls and we were both ready to kill each other so I’ve learned my lesson.  I’m not the Martha Stewart of mothers.  Now I know when it comes to large crafty projects making multiples of anything, go for the assembly line approach.  These kids won’t know the difference and ninety-percent of them will likely end up in the trash anyway.

So last night Milla and I lined up the wax and started cutting the hearts.  Then we piled them up in twos.  Then we cut the yarn for the tissue paper.  Then we cut the tissue paper into squares.  Then we wrapped them and she tied.  At one point she tried tying bows but that deteriorated after about 3 sets because it was a huge pain in the ass.  The yarn kept getting caught on her fingernails and she’d pull the whole lump out of my hand and we both got irritated so we quit that.  We managed to complete the entire project in under an hour, so that was all good.  Of course, we got to school this morning and it turns out her teacher doesn’t do a Valentine’s Day exchange, but with my luck if we’d skipped it there would have been an exchange and I would again look like the mother that couldn’t.  I’m good at that.

Valentine’s Day is kind of a weird holiday.  In some regards it seems almost like Mother’s Day; designed entirely by the greeting card industry to make people spend money.  But it has a really cool history and dark side that appeals to me.  There are all these legends about who St. Valentine may have been, but in all of them, he’s rescuing someone and doing all these good deeds and as a result, he gets killed off.  I suppose that’s the nature of Sainthood, but I find it somewhat ironic that his life is held up as the namesake for a holiday about romantic love.  Isn’t the murder of St. Valentine for all his good and loving deeds kind of a perfect analogy on some level for the way we lose ourselves in romantic love?  It’s all good if both sides are party to the celebration, but more often than not I think it all ends in despair.  And even when both sides are happy about things and ultimately stay together, the romantic part inevitably ends.  And most sane people I know are glad that it does.  It’s almost like death in some ways to be in that place where you’re so in love you can’t eat or sleep or think or do a damn thing and you might as well be dead.  It’s a good thing that part ends or we’d never get anywhere.

Another interesting consideration in the history of St. Valentine is when it’s celebrated.  Some say the mid-February date is to commemorate St. Valentine’s death.  However others argue it was an active choice on the part of the Christian church to obliterate a pagan festival called Lupercalia.  It was one of those native festivals where people prepared their homes for spring and celebrated fertility through a festival to the Roman God of Agriculture.  Well, we certainly couldn’t have people worshipping any Agriculture gods, now could we?  That would be idolatry.  So the Christians murdered off the local religion with a nice little holiday of their own.  How special!  I do find it quite fascinating that in all the history surrounding Valentine’s Day there is quite a lot of death.  And loneliness too.  As I understand it, St. Valentine spent his last days in prison before being put to death.  There he was trapped in his lonely heart and then he was killed.  Wow.

On that special note, I think I’ll sign off.  Someone I know told me he likes my blogs because I just go on my rant without making a point.  Yep.  That’s me.  Pointless.  Ha!  Well, I have a point today, and that’s to enjoy the beautiful girl I made while in the throes of romantic love that ended with a sputter.  Her father and I may have our differences, but if I could go back and choose whether or not to toss that condom across the room (Yes, mom.  That’s what happened.  It didn’t break like I told you.), I would do it again in a heartbeat because the love I have for her is better than any romantic love I’ve ever experienced.  I suppose that’s the point, though, isn’t it?  To fall in romantic love so you breed, have children, and ensure the continuation of the species.  Who cares if the species grows up, falls in love, and ends up killed over it.  As long as the breeding took place and the children were born first, it’s all good, right?  Kind of senseless and weird, but it must work or we wouldn’t have a population explosion.

Church of Freezing

I am starting a new personal religion. Called the Church of Freezing. Why does this damn thing keep doing this? Maybe the computer wants to join too, since it keeps freezing up. Also the church of tired. Go worship in the Church of Freezing and you can build goodwill. You can accomplish anything. Stop trying to be warm because it won’t work. Go to the Church of Freezing and get born again into the world where you don’t have to avoid being who you are. You are cold! Be cold! You are tired! Be tired! Stop trying to escape into those places you cannot go called warmth and fulfillment.

My tab has decided to work now. The computer does not want to join the Church of Freezing. But every time it decides to freeze up, I will not become angry with it because all it wants to do is worship the cold as I do. I understand. It wants to be itself and only through the cold can it become fully itself.

At the Church of Freezing, you can learn to accept who you are. Your body has wanted to be cold for so long, and you have fought it for so long, but your body is wrong! For the first time, I understand the needs of people like Luther. When his body wanted pleasure, he was denying the body experiencing pain, so he gave his body pain. My body wants warmth, but in doing so denies experiencing cold, so I’m giving my body back its cold.

And this season is the high one for the Church of Freezing! It’s a time of celebration, of worship! Sit out in the cold and become ONE with it!

The Church of Tired works the same way. I was lying in bed, not wanting to get up and write or work because I was cold and tired and the bed offered warmth and relaxation. But in order to take the warmth and relaxation, I had to give up writing and working. I also had to give up cold and tired. I do not want to give these things up! Instead, I will ignore warmth and relaxation. So in a way, I’m denying them, but they are so demanding! They want my attention all the time. They do not need to have my attention 100% of the time. They are not my children. They are demanding, forceful little brats who need more than I can give them. Give back to the Church of Freezing and the Church of Tired and you will reach salvation.

Taking a warm shower for a member of the Church of Freezing is like a hedonistic orgy for a Christian. At first the CoF member feels immense pleasure. Their body tingles with delight. They bask in the sheer delight of it. However, after a while, the CoF member realizes that the pleasure is too much. It’s not as caressing, it’s not as full, it’s not as warm anymore. In fact, it is too hot! Beware, Members, of the powerful call of the shower and warm water in general. It is to be avoided at all costs! Failure to adhere to this decree will result in a level of sickness and guilt like no other. Do not do it, I beseech thee!