If love didn’t exist
I would have invented it
Not as prostrating illusion
But breath, nerve, life
It would have the shape
Of your dreamed face
The marks on your naked skin
The naughtiness in your eyes
The complex sense of your presence
The breadth of years spent near and far
Collecting salt and memories
Gathering cinders and delights
If love didn’t exist
I would have invented it
The way once existed for someone
that’s not you
The year I wanted to play by Valentine’s rules I ended up anti. It felt a bit amusing discovering I am not the only one never sending cards or adopting any of the usual manifestations. It happens and that doesn’t mean necessarily we are alone or indifferent to expressing feelings. It might mean precisely the opposite.
Valentine’s Day in this town is almost like Christmas. There is not a single restaurant table or hotel room available and commerce is pretty busy. The only wise thing is running away and that’s what I’ve been doing over the last years.
This year I thought about creating my first Valentine’s card ever but then I saw an anti-Valentine’s campaign somewhere and decided to adhere. Learning Valentine’s by the negative is as good as any other form of learning.
If I had to describe love I would compare it with diving. We try to dive into someone’s heart and mind. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes we like and keep diving and diving, always discovering new motives of wonder. Love can be the greatest adventure of them all, if we really want to live it with someone.
Sometimes we hope and persevere and fight and dive again and again and return with no answers. That’s because some people have the ability to hide or disguise their hearts and minds. Even so, some disguise them because they are naturally shy and private while others hide their true hearts and minds because they are not pretty to see. One thing I guarantee: it can take ages to discover a person’s true nature, but sooner or later, if you insist before taking extreme decisions, you will know the waters you are diving into. This is my deep feeling about love: it doesn’t matter if you are alone, unhappy or lost of hope, sooner or later the right person is going to show up. That doesn’t mean you have to sit and wait. That only means you have to dive deep before deciding who deserves your Valentine’s cards.
I am anti Valentine’s in recognition that sometimes one has to be anti before being pro – for the sake of the truth. Now and them we have to reinvent ourselves. Why not reinvent love when love so desperately needs to be reinvented?
I met someone who fell for the wrong guy but nothing could move her: nor his unstable behavior, nor his doubtful words, nor even his questionable feelings and intentions. He defended his skin, his interests, and the status quo above all. She didn’t seem to care or notice it. What should be evident for the rest of the world was merely stressful and upsetting, never a strong definitive reason to change her mind. Nothing he could do or say was able to trouble her feelings for him.
And then, one given day, when I was already considering her a lost cause, she heard him say an expression and she finally got it. ‘What seemed intriguing and attractive about him felt rude and vulgar,’ she commented. ‘It’s not a question of origin, maturity or education. It’s lack of tact and gentleness. He doesn’t have feelings for people in general. How could he refer to some jobs as diminishing? Imagine what a driver or a carpenter would feel hearing such expression? They work honestly, allowing them to feed their families. To see it qualified as diminishing! Humble jobs only diminish people who feel or are already diminished. Diminishing is not working. It’s stealing, killing, raping, robbing or disrespecting people. A person capable of producing such words doesn’t deserve my admiration or any one else’s.’
I just replied: ‘Why on earth took you so long to see it?’
‘The evidence itself was too evident. I thought there were some substance beneath the upsetting signs, but no. Now I got who he really is. He is just someone deprived of feelings towards the rest of the world. He has an ugly heart and I would never be happy with someone like him. He is a fraud. He is just someone rude who would make me feel sickly unhappy. He made me fight for him as if my feelings were a diminishing thing too. He used to say that a person would have to climb a mountain to reach him and I would because I thought he deserved everything. I know the wrong signs were there. Maybe I was too tired of climbing that mountain to see them. From what I know today, I am pretty sure he is the one who would have to climb the highest mountain in the world just to look into my heart.’
We had a long conversation. I could see she is really changed and I was glad for her. The motive of my anti-Valentine’s statement is coherent with everybody’s dreams and aspirations. Anti-love is nothing else but a prelude to true love.