mad monk with my brother. he's way bigger than this now (the dog, not my brother).
happy valentines day! this weather is affirming to me that yes, spring is possible and could even be closer than we think. i'm feeling the love today. i had a great partner yoga/thai massage workshop this weekend at yoga district and could feel all the sweetness between all the couples that showed up (very much including the friend couples). i also spent all day saturday photographing dogs for a lucky dog rescue fundraiser. and i found out last night that i am going to photograph the most amazing, traveling couple--allison and david--for their labor day wedding in newport, r.i. so even though adam is far away in morocco finishing up his conference, i feel firmly in the stream of affection.
to celebrate, here are musings on love from three really inspiration people. this first is from brene brown, it's her definition of love that she wrote after compiling her research on the people that she says participate in "whole-hearted" living:
we cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.
love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them--we can only love others as much as love ourselves.
shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
this next piece is from my beautiful friend rebecca armendariz about her last days with her boyfriend clark. she submitted it to a matador records contest and made it as a runner-up (although i think hers was the most well-written and moving of the bunch and totally deserved to have a belle & sebastian song written about it):
Clark’s cancer had spread to his hip and so two months before he died he couldn’t really walk. At least not without my help so I was his human crutch crushed on one side anytime he wanted his 33-year-old body moved to another spot in our apartment. After a period of decline he traded me in for a desk chair on wheels and I pushed him around scooping him up from under his armpits when we reached the bathroom. I’d use a firm but tender grip to lower his eggshell body into the tub where he’d sit for hours to make the effort worth it.He hardly left the house except for doctor’s appointments. I’d finally convinced him to wear an adult diaper after too many laundry loads of soaked pants and bed sheets. The first night he slept in it I put one on too and we giggled under piles of blankets together sharing a secret before he nodded off. One spring day we let the air breeze through the front and out the back of the apartment. The buried idea of what he’d been missing was exhumed; he wanted to go outside. We drove a few blocks to a friend’s where we sat in lawn chairs in a sun-soaked driveway. A snapshot of any one particular moment from that afternoon would appear unremarkable to an outsider. We gossiped and laughed. I drank a beer. After a few hours we were home refreshed by our peek at normalcy. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to see that mischievous amorous look in his eye but after helping him to the couch it disappeared. He wanted to do something for me for once. He wanted me to relax. And for the last time before he died I did.
and of course i will give rumi the last word on love (michelle read this during her yoga class yesterday and i just loved it):
A mouse and a frog meet every morning on the riverbank.
They sit in a nook of the ground and talk.
Each morning, the second they see each other,
they open easily, telling stories and dreams and secrets,
empty of any fear or suspicious holding back.
To watch, and listen to those two
is to understand how, as it’s written,
sometimes when two beings come together,
Christ becomes visible.
The mouse starts laughing out a story he hasn’t thought of
in five years, and the telling might take five years!
There’s no blocking the speechflow-river-running-
all-carrying momentum that true intimacy is.