Today is Valentine’s Day. Last Valentine’s Day I was sitting in front of the fire in my Orange Avenue home, butt warm on a sheepskin. I was feeling lonely. I didn’t really care about Valentine’s Day per se, but the day was cultivating a mindset of wanting to be with someone, on the sheepskin, in front of the fire.

I don’t feel lonely today. My life is incredibly full, no time to reflect on feelings of loneliness.

However, I have been reflecting on love. Several years ago, a man named Johnny wrote to Cheryl Strayed when she was still doing Dear Sugar on The Rumpus. He asked what the definition of love was. This was her response:

“It is not so incomprehensible as you pretend, sweet pea. Love is the feeling we have for those we care deeply about and hold in high regard. It can be light as the hug we give a friend or heavy as the sacrifices we make for our children. It can be romantic, platonic, familial, fleeting, everlasting, conditional, unconditional, imbued with sorrow, stoked by sex, sullied by abuse, amplified by kindness, twisted by betrayal, deepened by time, darkened by difficulty, leavened by generosity, nourished by humor and “loaded with promises and commitments” that we may or may not want or keep.

The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.”

Love…imbued by sorrow, darkened by difficulty, leavened by generosity. May we all experience all the forms of love and enjoy the ways that life colors our loves. May we learn to listen to our tender, tender hearts. May we remember that we all seek love, deeply.

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