|Edwardian Era Valentine - circa 1900|
Happy Valentine's Day, dear ones,
I hope today is all you want it to be, whether that means cards, flowers and candy, jewelry or electronics, or simply the presence of a few of the people you love with you today, may it be so.
That's really all for today. I send you my love, and as the message above states so perfectly, Valentine Greetings.
There are so very many beautiful poems about love, that of course it's nearly impossible to think of just one suitable for today. But this one is one of my personal favorites, and expresses the idea of love without condition, without dimension, and without end, so well.
by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love ’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me prov’d,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.
Though this sonnet was written in 1609, it sounds completely contemporary when read by this young woman, who gives the words authority and certainty I've not heard before.
My music selection for Valentine's Day is what I consider to be one of the most incredibly beautiful pieces of music ever written, Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings in C Major, Opus 48. The first movement is played here by Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Maxim Vengerov. There are four movements to this piece, so if you have the chance, find the whole shebang and grab a nice glass of wine, close your eyes, and immerse yourself in it.
I know my friend, Danny will agree with me on this one. He and his lovely wife, Marla, were married in a castle with this music playing in the background. I wish I could have seen that.
This lush music is also well known as the music for an iconic ballet by George Balanchine, simply titled, "Serenade." Again, if you ever see that a ballet company in your area is performing this work, please GO. The work is protected by the Balanchine Trust, and is set only on companies deemed worthy of it. You are guaranteed an exceptionally romantic evening. In fact, this choreography is guarded with such fervor that video of it is almost never released.
Here are two photos taken in 2009 when my daughter, Andrea, had the honor of dancing one of the lead roles in the ballet as the Dark Angel (Elegy Girl) with Butler Ballet in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was breathtaking.
|Opening Tableau, Serenade - Butler Ballet, Butler University 2009|
|Jen LaWall, front, James Kopecki, center, and Andrea Lucas, back|
Serenade - Butler Ballet, 2009
The dancer's arms in back (belonging to Andrea)
become wings of an angel behind the man in the center.
Today, I wish for you...Love.Happy Valentine's Day.