Saturday, February 16, 2008
After calling for a Luminous Novena earlier this year, to pray for EVERYONE you can think of - what could be more natural than this, verily?
Twelve Days Of Love!
But can this be accomplished; that is the question...
Why until the 24th, you ask? Some of you may not know - those who are not Romanian or even European stand a good chance of not having the slightest idea indeed - but there is an alternate St. Valentine's Day on the 24th of the very same month. That in itself was very smart indeed; for you can readily buy, at a discount price, all the heart-shaped candy you can find left over from the "official" commercialized celebration of love, a mere ten days later... Of course, those of you who remember my past posts about the "official" one, or those who peeked at the luminous archives here, will guess that I am not any more thrilled with the 24th than I am with the 14th! And here is, once again, why (summed up for everyone's euphoric pleasure!)
Saint Valentine is a mere prête-nom in all this: he is not the focus at all and has little to do with the emblematic poster child for the lovefest, which remains the very pagan Cupid. Some may even be confused enough to think that this tiny arrow-shooting faux cherubim is "St. Valentine" - such an error is totally plausible among some of the most uncultured youths of the day and on par with thinking "Santa Claus" is the origin of Christmas... Cupid is also known as Eros and "it" could have many more identities to boot - its usurping the spot reserved to a saint/martyr who knew the TRUE MEANING OF LOVE is even more revolting than "Santa" stripping Christmas of its own true meaning (merely because we can always recuperate from that come EASTER time - and no matter what they say, Eostre and the Easter Bunny are not as formidable a pair of "distracting/decoy" foes as Santa by his lonesome super-sized self really is! But that certainly is another story, once again...)
On St-Valentine's Day, it is truly the legacy of a romantic author (Chaucer) that we are asked to celebrate. That and, quite possibly, the vestiges of yet another pagan feast time has forgotten! It doesn't help matters at all that "Saint-Valentine" as he is known to the masses is an amalgam of up to seven different saints or martyrs! And the one who might have been as romantic as legend has him out to be is a virtual unknown about whom nothing is readily documented. The last two Valentines recognized as martyrs of equal stature are too recent (19th and 20th Centuries) to have been "the one" people want him to be (for more on the amalgamation process, check out the summary given here - wikipedia; always sufficient!)
St. Valentine's Day actually has a sequel all its own already (it didn't need a remake, no!) in the "kiss feast" (e.g. La Fête Du Baiser) which is set to be honored on the first Saturday following February 14th... (You will excuse me if I mention here that all it reminds me of is that lamentable funny film about "Saturday The 14th" - an attempt to lampoon the Friday The 13th series of slashers without any hockey masks or real laughs either! Richard Benjamin (a lethal name combination, in retrospect - à bons entendeurs, salut!) did well to give up acting after this one - and so did his beloved Paula Prentiss, I do believe. The catch phrase was "it gets pretty bad on Friday the 13th, but things get REALLY bad on Saturday the 14th!" or something to that effect. No kidding; the Jason movie series was Oscar-worthy in comparison! But I am digressing once more...)
However, lo, there has come another Valentine, arisen in the same land Dracula's legend sprang from, that prolongs the lovefest even further... (Ironic because the aforementioned Richard Benjamin was only ever convincing as a comical foil in the Dracula funny "Love At First Bite" in my opinion!) And, fittingly enough, the alternate Valentine's name is phonetically similar to Dracula's too: it is Dragobete! The latter love beast has steadily gained in popularity in the last few years and holds as solidly anchored in legend roots as Cupid and Eros or Valentine's martyrdom itself (all seven Valentines, really) so that makes Dragobete as valid, historically and folklorically, a so-called "holiday" for today! The feast day is a plausible alternative to St. Valentine's Day, hence. It has even an air of spring break-ishness, Eostre's time of the year and I'll throw in the groundhog's predictive powers for good measure too! All under the actually prefered name of "Dragobete" indeed. (This is getting to be less and less subtle, I tell you...)
As illustrated here, Dragobete is a romantic hero true-and-true; probably closer to a Romeo or any gallant chivalrous character from the Middle-Ages that you can think of than any one of the Valentines retained by the Church for their martyrdom skills... It is up to you, of course, to decide which is more important and does a soul more good: romance and gallantry or martyrdom and saintliness!
Now, having said all this, do not make the mistake of thinking me to be anything less than a romantic! I am a romantic to the point of being an idealist - that is romanesque to the utmost degree, I do believe... Aye, I strongly adhere to these time-honored convictions: that all that is basically good and honorable will prevail in the end. That LOVE is the strongest force in the universe. That nothing corrupt or evil can ever triumph over the most noble intentions. That one's "tender half" is like a part of oneself - and that, together in "couplehood" or whatever you wish to call it, a man and a woman are truly ONE. I also believe that time-honored customs, that some call old-fashioned and out of fashion, outright, are in fact timeless and should have never fallen out of favor with either the elite or any other strata of society, verily! Those things I hint at include simple gestures not seen anymore, such as curtsey, the bow and the all-gallant handkiss. I could go on - but this was supposed to be only a summary...!
And so, having cited all these things, I must come to the conclusion that follows: all of these things, though they help greatly in furthering the distinction between us and mere animals (that Charles and his Darwinists have, ever since his day, likened us to) and add flavor to boring societal conventions, all these things are but frivolities. On the same level as standards and practices of the day. And none of these things can begin to compare to the demonstration of TRUE LOVE - all-encompassing love, all-unconditional love, all-enrapturing LOVE.
For a taste of THAT KIND OF LOVE - go here instead.
Oh, and to answer my own question - can we have 12 days of Love like this?
Not in this world - not love like this, no.
But we can have 12 days of frivolities.
We can even muster 12 days of "couplehood" - surely.
Some couples still manage to last years, even nowadays, is it not the case!
But those couples that LAST - they have another LOVE Source at the core of their love: you've guessed it, this one.
May the love vibes reverberate throughout the year -
not Valentine's, not Dragobete's - certainly not Cupid's or Eros'...
The Love Vibes from The Source - YES!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
it can be expressed every single day
- not just on Thanksgiving Day!
for a limited time only,
you can call and tell
what YOU are grateful for
and not only will it be
inspiring for all,
it will also make
a very real
if you're in
in the world
You will be helping
in the achievement
of two laudable acts:
1. Raising $1 for every message received.
2. Helping Create a Documentary on Gratitude.
And, hey - you can also be
grateful for the opportunity
- to be heard,
to make a difference,
to do the right thing!
You can help create
a world movement on gratitude
which is the ultimate Mission
The Goal of
1 million calls
in 100 days
CAN be achieved!
For more information