In this country, in this world, there are a lot of lonely, unfulfilled people. We breed fear in the American suburbs and isolate ourselves from our neighbors--both next-door and across international boundaries--and in our cities, we don’t know the faces on either side of our apartments’ walls.
Now that winter has settled-in and the remains of the hollow, frenetic holiday season have long dissipated, all we’re left with is a cold, hard, loneliness. And as a possible antidote we have... Valentine’s Day.
Like the holiday season, it, too, has largely lost its meaning and luster.
When I look towards lovey-dovey day this year, I have a new association: a dark, unfamiliar city; a clanky, janky bus; a language I can (still) neither speak nor read; and a steamy huo guo restaurant where I shared hot pot with Stella, Tracy, Yolanda, and Kelly on my first full day in Qingdao. Everything was foreign then, but the warmth offered to me by that food and those faces over the following months is enough to keep me full on nights that now seem even darker.
So for all of you who are feeling cold--inside and out--I wish I could take you for hot pot. It does wonders. But instead, some written love from e. e. cummings will have to do.
When I read this poem, I think I interpret it differently than the author intended. Because when I think about "love," I don’t think about one time or one place or one person. I imagine every face--however unlikely, however far away--that I can’t go a day without thinking about, even now. I carry all of you(in my heart).
i carry your heart with me
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)