Letter to the Valentine’s Cynic

Mon semblable, mon frère,

February 14th is my anniversary. This year we complete three years. The atom bomb of our relationship went off on this fine day. She’s been a half-breath away from me ever since.

I won her over with an over-indulgent bouquet of roses, dinner at the Italian place, and a poem I scribbled during two inspired hours that afternoon. This trio of clichéed moves goes against every piece of dating advice in the book. It has been the most devotional and transformative love of our lives. 

So put that in yer pipe… “dating coaches” ????

Many are those who are cynical about Valentine’s Day, who see it as a conspiracy of gift-card companies, and claim we don’t need it, for I practice love three-hundred and sixty-five days each year.

Yeah, bullshit you do, clichéed cynic. I bet you don’t practice love for a meek half-hour.

Every enduring culture around the world runs on a balanced and scripted calendar of ritual. Equinox, harvest, the cycles of the moon. We celebrate in harmony the rhythms of life. Romance is no exception.

One annual day to celebrate love is kinda poor, I admit, but it’s built into our exoteric wisdom. And if we weren’t so cynical as a society, we might just conjure enough romance to melt the frozen winter within many of our breasts, and keep a semblance of collective admiration going. Why now, Mid-Feb? Well, six weeks from here is the season of fornication. The season of rabbits and eggs: courtship’s culmination. I mean, yes, Easter. New life. Petite morte.

I get it as much as you, lecteur… there is something in the psyche of man that likes acting on his inspiration, not feeling guilt-tripped by mass-pressure to come up with the goods on society’s clock. But don’t hold back on infusing your love into the world because of some cynical thoughts. Go beyond yourself. Why keep the best of you under wraps? What are you afraid will happen if you do profess a little love here or there? This is the question.

As I said to my dear, dear love in the midst of the Hiroshima bomb we detonated at the Italian that night, there are three ways in which a man buys a woman flowers. There are three ways in which he celebrates St. Valentine’s Day:

The first is means to his pure carnal end: buy the right necklace, the right chocolate, and I’ll get laid (and have her stop pestering me to buy her stuff), at least for the next couple of weeks.

The second is more relational, but equally bound by fear: if I can just get Valentine’s right, she will give me the love I want, and bring other things I like to the table. I need to piece together an adequate showing to extend our ongoing exchange of favours. How much does she deserve from me this year?

But the third is a different approach altogether: you boldly and valiantly make an offering to All Woman, you aim your love and your passion and all pent-up erotic duress upward toward some pulsating Goddess beyond all of Life, the beating heart of the Universe Herself, and then you celebrate this sublime wonder through the closest woman in your life — just anyone you feel a morsel of real heart-felt affection for, really — and you give her a day she’ll remember forever. You celebrate the fullness of Woman, every feminine gift you ever received or might hope to, through this one flesh-and-bones incarnation of a woman, just fucking because. It is impersonal, transpersonal, and intricately, devastatingly human. There is nothing you angle to get in return: no bullseye, no home-run, no validation to receive. It is a theatrical and fully-played offering to the Gods: a culminating invocation of all your seductive might, all your romantic urge, and your creative self-expression. You lay yourself on the altar, and you leave nothing to chance.

What full-blooded romantic act will have you feel aligned as a lover to-day?

I’ll lay it bare, brother: if you cannot summon within yourself this generosity of spirit, this level of abandon, and this kind of adoration for Life Herself for a mere twenty-four hours… forget sweeping a woman off of her feet — at the level of worship and adulation, that is — when you absolutely most have to.

So I call you forth, oh Lover of Beauty, Lover of Woman: offer the best expression of your heart with abandon on this day.

Who knows where such a force might land you…

What are you going to do instead?

One day, both you and her will be dead.

~ Jordan



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