Sunday, February 14, 2010

Square 93: Valentine

Square 093

Remember in grade school how we would exchange valentines with all our friends? My mom encouraged me to make my own, though I didn't need much encouragement. All she had to do was provide craft supplies and I would go to it. Actually it was one of my favourite times of year. Yes, making valentines was just as good as receiving candy or presents. I was always excited to see what she would bring home from her shopping trip: white and gold paper doilies, red cardboard hearts and cupids, ribbons and colourful stickers.

As I cut and pasted the parts together, I did not know I was evoking antique valentines. Now I realize Mom had taught me how to make the kind of cards her own mother must have received from sweethearts around 1930. This square is also inspired by those.

It is underpinned by the outside row of handspun yarn from my sweetheart, Danny, because I am well-rooted in him.

This is a special time, because I am also newly in love. How far we have come from the the time of doilies and parlours to a society where I am free to love a man, and free to love more than one person. I don't know whether I would call it "free love"; the phrase trivializes a journey that should never be begun without care, consideration, honesty and integrity.

Fresh emotions can lead us to speak and act without thinking. Inevitably we misstep, but such is the quality of being human, and without our frailties we would be less endearing to one another.

At the same time, I do not believe it is imperative for a thoughtful person to restrict his or her romantic feelings to one other. Some derive special meaning and strength from monogamy, no doubt. To me every friendship is a different adventure. No two are the same. I am enriched by the opportunity to explore deeper levels with some people.

To the ones I love—lovers, friends and family—this valentine goes out.

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