thoughts on it all, on Valentine's Day

Sunday, February 14, 2016

This Valentine's Day weekend, I write of long love in an era of tighter purse strings, a shared photography adventure, and wandering the streets of Conshohocken (and meeting one young entrepreneur, Marcie Spampinato, in a market fresh cafe) in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

I read Bettyville—that great George Hodgman memoir—through for the third time, as my class at Penn, joining with the students of dear Julia Bloch, prepare for a special Skype visit from the author. I first encountered Bettyville when reviewing the book for the Chicago Tribune. In returning to these pages, I find myself even more grateful for its championing of heart, its honesty of emotion, its embrace of sliding time, and its wisdoms, large and small. "To fall in love you have to think you're okay, stop watching for clues you've done something wrong."

I look toward a simple meal with the man I love.

These have been interesting days. I am learning how to live through uncertainty, find peace with broken promises, work toward the tangible in often intangible times, wrangle with dishonesties and pressures. I do less well when I survey the world at large—the posturing of politicians, the schoolyard antics of debates, the cruelty of regimes, the small voices that are not heard, the cracks in the earth. Three a.m. is my internal monologue-ing hour, and often nobody wins.

And then I remember to be grateful. For sun despite the frigid cold. For the laughter of my son over the phone. For the emails from friends who write of warming days, risotto, a mother's whisper, HelloFresh, encouragement for the books I write. For the team my father and I have become as we continue to hope for the sale of his home. For the orange roses that were waiting for me at five a.m. today, when I stopped talking to myself.

It's the small things, I think, that are the biggest things of all. The small things that sustain me, that break the monologue.


Amy @ My Friend Amy said...

You always get to the heart of things. Beautiful. Happy Valentine's Day!

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