The book of love has music in it, in fact that's where music comes from. Some of it is just transcendental and some of it is just really dumb. But I love it when you sing to me and you can sing me anything. The book of love is really boring and it was written very long ago. It's full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes and things we're all too young to know. But I love it when you read to me, you can read me anything. - Peter Gabriel
It's that time again for heart shaped boxes and little chocolates in a row. And in our pursuit for all this romantic and touching I think we tend to overlook the love that is so close to us - the love of our family, the love of our friends, even the love of strangers.
Recently, I had another experience with an ebayer I didn't appreciate. And in trying to figure out a new direction for my business, when stepping into the uncomfortable, I had a total stranger reach out to me. She had just received one of my bracelets and called to see if I was alright. I can't begin to tell you how touching I find it when a stranger reaches out to me. My ees were full of tears as she went on and on about how much she loved her new little piece of art. You see, I made the whole thing with black and white beads and while moving beads from one end of my desk to another, I found this little black pig bead and added it just for a touch of whimsy. She had lost her pet pig recently and was just burdened with life's sadness and she found it as some cosmic signal that I was reaching out to her. I had to say to myself, "Carrie, there are no accidents." She comforted my heart, this fellow seeker of beauty and the sweetness of her soul is something I have carried with me since.
A few weeks ago I had almost had enough of my son. He's a man child and full of energy that exhausts me. I was working at my desk into the evening, string along some beads and the phone rings and its my friend Craig. We don't spend much time together, we mostly check in with eachother and even when I saw his name appear on the caller ID I had this heart pang about not spending more time with him. He listened, shared his common sense calm wisdom and then entertained me while I finished my current project. I slept feeling loved.
We have been hit with snow snow and more snow this year. I hate snow. I hate the feeling of feeling uneasy about the weather and how it will affect how I move in the earth. The snow started to fall on a Saturday morning a week or two before Christmas. My son shoveled and then headed over the market to bring home some of the strangest mix of food. He lugged home cans of beets, some ribs, boxes of cereal and diet root beer. When he came home he announced that we were in for the evening and it was going to be him and I. I cooked for us, I made pots of tea and we pushed the sofa in front of the bay window to watch the snow snarling around as we watched bad tv and played dominos. His company was so wonderful, our conversation at one moment full of chatter and the next just calm content that we weren't out in the cold. We wrapped presents, talked and laughed. I won't forget for a long time how comforting the evening was and when I want to choke him and his never ending energy for everything insane I will think back to that magical Saturday.
And tonight my Best Friend Called. Yesterday I was a little overwhelmed with a new project and when she called I was just blue, fighting off the blues and believe me they were creeping in. I made an excuse, hung up quickly and thought putting my nose to the grindstone was the answer. Tonight, she called. I knew she would. "Feeling better today honey?" I am so loved. I thought for a brief moment.."Who deserves this kind of love?" Then I knew I did. I knew that we had this friendship forged in love and excitement, and hard work. The hard work never seems like work when I know she's looking over my shoulder, my biggest, loudest cheerleader. She told me she'd be here visiting in a few days and that was enough to get me through the evening, knowing soon she'd be on my sofa, our feet up, drinking tea and laughing about anything that gives us a tickle. She will tell me to get rid of the litte kitten, to plan on moving to DC, to stop letting life's details burden me. We will help our family celebrate the wedding of the season, shopping, having lunch, picking out dresses and all will be well with the world again. We will be in a crowd as we have been a million times and we will both find something funny that nobody else would understand and just one look will bring us to chuckling laughter. I know her and she knows me and she loves me any way. What more is there?
Love is around us all the time. It's found in the sweetness of smile, a nod from a stranger when I offer them a ride from the bus stop. I find love in the herb garden I grew this summer, in watching my son struggle through his Spanish Class. Love sits on your shoulder waiting for you to notice it. Love never ends, it's the only constant. Love's loss can shatter a life, break a heart into a thousand tiny pieces that scatter, heal and find their way back to wait to be broken all over again. Love always wins and always conquers evil. Love's hope comes in little heart shaped boxes where we store treasures nobody could begin to understand. When I am at an estate sale and I find a little trinket box that looks very worn and loved, I stop to wonder who stored a treasure here and who gave the woman this little box, a lover, a child, a Best Friend. I have a little carved wooden cat that I treasure, a tiny blue pen I hold near my heart, a glass vase from the first flowers my son ever sent me, and of course a tiny book with 40 reasons Suzy loves me. (She gave it to me for m 40th birthday.) And in the bottom of the little box on my desk where I work every day is a little altered art book made from canvas sent to me by one of the first people who ever purchased my art on Ebay. Mel, I miss you and will write soon.
Create something in this season of love. Create art, and live. Create our own book of love.