Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines, Actually

Today is Valentines day.

And I think of people with intellectual disabilities who live in systems that forbid them love and marriage.

Today is Hearts and Flowers day.

And I think of seniors residences that forbid husbands and wives rooms together.

Today is Chocolates and Candy Kisses day.

And I think of all the countries that kill, imprison or torture people for loving who their heart bids them love.

Today is Cards and Poems day.

And I wonder why, in a culture that proclaims love, in faiths that espouse love and in families that claim love, so many people are forbidden ...

love

and marriage

and kisses

and gentle nudges against the ear

And I wonder how many people with disabilities are driven by love into basements and garages to meet and touch and hold ... and how many seniors hold hands under tables and kiss when nurses aren't looking ... and how many people risk death or imprisonment or torture just to feel their pulse slamming  in their ears at the barest touch.

I wonder if love hidden, if moments forbidden, if dangerous meetings are the places where Valentines, today, actually happens.

3 comments:

DJR said...

Thankfully I work in an atmosphere that respects the rights of those we support including sharing love and kisses and private time with those they love. Marriage is not out of the question either though it does become must more complicated because of how all supports and funding is set up.

Ron Arnold said...

I think a person's definition of love is passed down to them from other's dictionaries . . . parents / family, culture, schooling, faith - even government (sadly). Every one of those sources can either build love up - or tear it down. Love is taught best through example - transmission via act. (Either to imitation or utter avoidance.) I find it sad that some folks have a very different, exclusionary definition for love than I do . . . or you do. I'm doing my very best to write good words in my children's dictionary - so they can pass it on.

I'm glad you're here sharing your definition . . . and influencing others' definitions. =)

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

We don't celebrate Valentine's Day because we've never been mushy, and hubby and I don't follow merchandizing efforts.

But it is our choice not to, not someone else telling us we can't.

Keep pointing things like this out, and people get empowered. Everyone should be able to love and be loved back. But some people will have to have the rest of us speak up, when they aren't listened to, or are too frightened to speak in the first place.