A version of this essay first appeared at Segullah.org
“But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure, then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.”
From The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
I picked up a box of “Hello Kitty” valentines in the grocery store because I was drawn to the images. The figures on the cards were simple line drawings. Simple.
In second grade we covered shoeboxes with doilies and red construction paper, cutting a slit in the top just big enough for a valentine envelope (and maybe a candy heart) to fit through. Back then our biggest concern in life was which valentine card to give to which classmate. Simple.
Then I thought about a man I had loved several years ago. He loved me too and we talked of marriage. We were friends who played and worked together and supported each other. But, in the end I could not marry him. The reasons aren’t important anymore, but they weren’t simple.
This interlude in the Valentine’s Day aisle got me thinking about what love is. And what it is not.
Love is simple.
Love is not simple.