WELL, I hope you and yours had a good Valentine’s Day and evening.
And if you are single, then I hope all the slushiness, sentimentality and the cheesy concentration on couples shown by restaurants and shops didn’t annoy you too much.
It is good to talk of love, and to write about it too. The subject has, after all, enthralled poets and philosophers since the earliest days of humanity.
I wrote a poem for my beloved 'Posh Boots' for Valentine’s Day and placed it in a beautiful Art Deco repro frame as a present for her.
She loved it, of course. Who wouldn’t be delighted to have a poem written especially for you?
And she deserves to have such verses written for her. We love each other; it’s as simple and as complicated as that.
But don’t worry, I am not going to replicate my poem for Posh Boots here; it’s too personal.
Today, in any case, I don’t intend to linger on the subject of love because, for many people in these days of record numbers of single people, love is absent … or painful.
Hardly any of us finds an ideal partner we truly love for the full run of a life-long relationship.
Some of us go for years without a partner, without love, and then find it quite late in life.
Others find love, enjoy it for a few years, and then lose it.
Welcome to life in our fallen world; it was never meant to be easy.
But today, I want to focus on friendship rather more than what we normally understand as love.
Love of the emotional, sexual variety is intense and, at times, all-consuming. Friendship is cooler yet every bit as important and is, actually, itself a form of love.
Who amongst us hasn’t told our friends that we love them?
Never mind that we might be p***ed as farts at the time. In Vino Veritas – in wine there is truth.
There is a fascinating poem by Robert Graves called Friendship at First Sight. That title raises the possibility of friendships that are formed magically at the first meeting or sight of someone.
Here’s what Graves wrote ...
'Love at first sight,' some say, misnaming
Discovery of twinned helplessness
Against the huge tug of procreation.
But friendship at first sight? This also
Catches fiercely at the surprised heart
So that the cheek blanches and then blushes.
Now, I think it is great, absolutely thrilling, to think that love at first sight happens, as many people who have experienced it will attest.
But I think it equally stunning that friendship at first sight can occur.
I’ve not known the privilege of experiencing love at first sight. Love needs a chance to grow … in my heart anyway.
But I think I have, on several occasions throughout my life, experienced friendship at first sight.
And when I think of each of those instances, though they be many years apart from each other, I know bonds were made that will last a lifetime.
How comforting it is to know, when the world is undergoing massive change and considerable distress that something as brilliant and valuable as friendship at first sight can happen. It makes you feel good about being human.
And for all the singletons around in this post-Valentine’s Day period, don’t forget that love, while it rarely comes at first sight, is still in plentiful supply. It may well be just around the corner for you. I hope it is.