Since yesterday was Valentine’s Day…
Loving things is important. This we know. We’ve been taught to love – if anyone has done anything right for us in this life – since we were children. We love parents, our chosen religion, siblings, pets, our beds, hot showers, etc. We love these things, and they are obvious. We love special people, friends, lovers, etc. People become special, are special, so we love them.
Well, we also love places, times, memories, food, sound. These are the less obvious. The less often noticed, documented, commemorated to the long-term. When these fleeting sensations flee, we often forget the emotion we had for them. The love is lost, or not lost but channeled away into small half-corners of our minds. There it sits and decays. Maybe this love would make us better if we accessed it again, if we dusted it off, if we polished it. And how do we polish? We recall, remember, rediscover. We charge the neurons; we re-fire them. We re-avow our love. We can get lost in it again.
Valentine’s Day in Italy is refreshingly understated. Sporadically placed on restaurant patios, red balloon hearts wave in the wind. Maybe because I don’t watch tv here, I miss out on the consumerism of V-day. But, really, there are no ads in windows, no jewelry stores screaming at me to prove my love with diamonds, no candy companies pushing candy hearts. No. Rome just says no to capitalistic Valentine’s.
I believe this is because everyday is Valentine’s Day in Rome. This sounds so cliche – hear me out. If you saw the PDA here you would understand. Romans unapologetically kiss on the streets, walk hand in hand, gaze into each other’s eyes. Why do they need a special day to do this? They did it yesterday, today, and they’ll do it tomorrow. Why do they need a day to tell them to remember to love? They’re already at it. And not just with each other – but with the life itself. Or that’s what it feels like to the sometimes numbed American.
So, here are some pictures of things that I have loved this week. Things that made me enjoy Rome, made me think that I will never leave, made me want to remember to not forget how much I liked what I liked in that instant. Maybe it was the way the light made a yellow building look. Or a cookie. Or half-tripping on a cobblestone. It’s sappy, but hey, it was just Valentine’s. If you can’t allow yourself some romanticism, what are you doing? Love what you love and don’t forget how you love it. Or why. There is no excuse, especially here. If I don’t have eyes to gaze into, at least I have a sandwich. And with appreciation, and apetite, that can do.