For Clive, on our anniversary.
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
We don’t bother much with it here – it’s the day before our wedding anniversary and I am of the belief that it’s cliched and over-commercial. I’m a lover of stories though, and the tales that led to the rather odd custom of sending anonymous cards intrigues me.
There’s no real evidence that any of the people known as ‘Saint Valentine’ were romantics in the sense we think of. There is one lovely legend, however, which says that a priest named Valentine married young Roman soldiers to their sweethearts despite a decree from Emperor Claudius II which forbade such things. Claudius believed that single men made better soldiers. When he discovered what was happening he had Valentine arrested and jailed, and sentenced him to death. Some versions of the legend say that this Valentine sent the first ever Valentine’s card to a young girl. She may have been the jailer’s daughter or she may have been someone he’d previously healed (she may have been both), but the words on that note were familiar to us today: “From Your Valentine.”
This should have happened 6 weeks ago, I know, but I’ve been busy. I’ve been being 40!
Anyway, now that’s all done and dusted I’m updating and reviving my blog, so hello, and see you soon… I promise!