Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!!

I've been wondering what I'd write about, what would pull me out of my literary torpor--and this image by my Flickr friend Darwin Bell did it.

I am a fan of hearts, both emotional and physical, and in fact try to live guided by the clarity of "the diamond in the eye of the heart." To remind myself I wear a white gold ring with a diamond in the center on my "wedding finger"--third finger left hand--even though I have only married my own heart.

My heart has been tender lately, a little on the achey side. If I were plotting the story of my life, I'd be pondering the open book that is the last major section. At 65 I need to learn to lay skillful offerings at the altar of Janus, as I look back at a past that delivered disappointments on the order of the proverbial elephant that demands to be eaten and as I stay open to a future that can still offer solid satisfactions and surely some pleasant surprises.

Staying in more than usual because of the rainy weather hasn't helped my heart. When I stay in too long, I get over-frugal with my own energy and don't venture out to the new places that excite my eye. I don't meet the strangers I so enjoy, and too often I pull back from deepening with the people already in my life. "They're too busy," I say. "I had him to dinner once; I don't know if he'd want to come back." Or I don't issue the invitation to the new acquaintance whose friendliness is already giving me so much pleasure. "Better leave well enough alone," I mutter to myself.

But Darwin's tincture of pink may be just the restorative I need right now. Accessible, imperfect, actual, off-center, it invites one in, says, "Come closer, you don't have to be afraid of me."