I have nothing to say but I do have a valentine.
Last year’s valentine was my most popular post! It was full of ruins. This one has a hearth, which they say is the center of a home.
I hope you like this one, too, even though I don’t have much to say about it.
Here’s something someone else said:
if what we could–were what we would–
it is the ultimate of talk–
the impotence to tell–
It doesn’t matter what we say. It matters what we do.
Do something good.
I’m not writing anymore about love, but I did make a Valentine. My valentine has ruins in it. Owl tells me there’s a fetishism for ruins called “ruin porn”. Amidst the outer-world’s compulsion towards youth, development and progress, there is a counter-fascination with what has fallen apart somewhere so unprofitable it is allowed to remain-an aesthetics of inevitable capitulation, a poetics of collapse. The stones that have crumbled, the rotting curtains, the empty rooms, the sunken roofs, all, all are ephemeral garlands upon absence. Absence: the presence of what is no longer present remains, a meta-monument to impermanence.
This valentine reminds me of an early conversation with the black swan:
…Is there a love otherwise made? Of stone?
Its architecture, yes, toppled in weeds,
though an entablature on slipped columns
remains to frame the inorderable sky.
I could think: Marking a grave. Or
Its austere grace! What time cracks falls away
to reveal a more essential beauty.
The ruins memorialize themselves.
Two might still walk among them hand in hand.
“Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!” Let love, in its ruin, grace forgotten spaces, defy the spirit of our age which points, it would appear, only to annihilation. Its shrill, destructive euphoria spares no room for soul-deepening ruins, lovely and bittersweet.
Happy Valentine’s Day! May your love exemplify grace.