Silly joy on Valentine’s Day

Today, be sweet and frivolous. Show your love with abandon.
We live in a severe world. Economic problems squelch joyful excess. Political enmity blocks happy discourse. Propriety prevents gleeful embrace.
The severity of our condition weighs on us. This is not a time for gaiety, we convince ourselves. Too much is at stake. The world brims with terrorists and fascists and socialists and atheists and dozens of other -ists, all of them a perceived threat.
We hunker down as if in a bomb shelter, guarding ourselves from manifold perils.
And in the midst of this severity, we risk losing the greatest joys of being human.
Today is a day to reclaim happy irrelevancies.
Today, we can experience the pleasure of courtship. We can enjoy the thrill that comes with uncritical adoration of our spouse or friend. We can be stupid in our vulnerability and reckless in our generosity. We can cherish our woman or adore our man, briefly blind to flaws. We can focus, for a day, entirely on the beauty and strength that is within them, heedless of the blemishes and fears.
This is a day to recite silly poems, to declare undying love, to present flowers with gallantry and snuggle with the cell phone turned off.
Today we can celebrate love in all its irrational glory. It’s Valentine’s Day, a gift from ancestors who somehow knew we would need a break from this too-harsh world.


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