My friend Vicki Hammond, an excellent collage and assemblage artist in Portland, OR, sent an e-mail with her photo regarding Valentine's Day today--and she put it on Facebook, too. Vicki's art blog is HerStory.
At first I thought Vicki had written the paragraphs below, but all the credit goes to author Anne LaMott, she says. (I once was on camera few seconds when a documentarian was filming her for a documentary at the Sun Valley Writer's Conference.) This is what Anne wrote. Enjoy!
We are all so pumped about Valentine's Day. You could cut the excitement around here with a knife.
My first plan was to celebrate by giving the kitty a flea dip, and overeating, but I think I've come up with a better idea.
Now, most of all us have some wonderful Valentine's Days over the years; or at least days that were not SO excruciating that we wanted to die. Which is at least a ...start. For instance, I had a wonderful man for seven years, who made me the most incredible little cards every year, but because he did not believe in climate science, or that there was any real difference between McCain and Obama, there were tiny tensions off and on the rest of the time.
I would estimate that approximately 17% of people enjoy Valentine's day. Mostly, women will be given boxes of chocolates that they don't want and can't resist, and will be really mad at themselves for inhaling. Many people will be filled with resentment, anxiety, and guilt at having forgotten, or having shown up late, or having accidentally been having affairs with other people. Many people will feel a sheet-metal sense of loneliness and rejection. They will be comparing their insides with other people's outsides, especially those happy valentines actors in advertisements and commercials.
Most of the day, except for the lucky few, will be a nightmare.
So let's start an Occupy Valentine's Day movement.
Let's begin with the premise that another word for Valentine's Day is Thursday. And on Thursday, as an act of radical self-care, we will celebrate the miracle that a few people love us SO much, that we can go on, and bear up, no matter what; that even though they know the darkest, most human and intimate and disgusting stuff about us, they still love us. In fact, they love us more and more through the years. This is so wild, and is really my only hope. It is what salvation looks like. A handful of friends is the reason my faith in God is so deep. Because they ARE love; they (along with the dogs) are my most obvious connection to divine love in this joint, the looks of love on their faces.
Let's celebrate that all you need is love; and that God is Love and love is God; that Love will heal ALL, although unfortunately, maybe not on our time--ie by Wednesday, right after lunch. But it will. When all is said and done, Love is sovereign on this earth. So let's go crazy with love on Thursday. If we want to be filled with loving feelings, all it takes is to do a bunch of loving things for others and ourselves. That's all it takes! You take the action, and the insight will follow--that all you need is love. Crazy. We don't need to buy or be given a single thing, and we don't need to eat anything we don't really want. We'll just give each other secret love gestures all day. Okay? You in?