Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Greetings

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.

Sonnet 116
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.


  1. Just loverly!!! As always beautiful, the poem, pictures and the music is a great way to start my day!

    xoxoxoxoxoxoPeace and Love coming your way!!!

  2. Happy Valentine's Day, Vicki!

    Peace and love back at you.♥ xoxo ♥

  3. Oh, oh, oh............ I love the Serenade for Strings AND you know I love ballerinas........... how very beautiful!!! Have a marvelous day today. Give every person you love an extra hug from me and if you get a chance, please check my blog today. xoxo

  4. Jo, of course you picked the perfect sonnet and piece of music for this day. Every time I hear "Serenade", a lump forms in my throat, tears well up in my eyes and my heart begins to race.

    I can only imagine what Tchaikovsky was thinking when he composed this incredible masterpiece of romance.

    He must have had the same feeling I had when I first realized I had found the love of my life. I picture the discovery, the pursuit and the rapture of finding that perfect love returned, unconditionally, to the giver's heart.

    Thank you for posting this today. It started my morning with such a wonderful feeling of joy and love. ♥

  5. Oh, Linda. I read your blog post a while ago and left a comment. What a love story you and Barry share to be strong enough to break through the veil. It brought me to tears.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed my valentine to you today. Tchaikovsky knows how to say "I love you" better than most.

    Enjoy your day, Linda, and know that you are loved. ♥

  6. Oh, Danny, it's most definitely MY pleasure. I'm hearing such beautiful stories of love today it cannot help but bring me joy.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one to wonder what composers think when they tell a story through their compositions. Well, you would know more than most, but it's just a marvel to me.

    Thank you so much for coming to visit on this special day and allowing me to share just a tidbit of your and Marla's very special love story.

    Give both your girls a big hug today from me.

    Sending big love your way, dear friend,

  7. Thank you so much for this beautiful blessing! You wish love for me? THANK YOU!!

    See? You are endlessly loving. Believe me.

  8. Oh, Reya, yes, I wish love for you, but you know how powerfully loved you are already, yes?

    You are most welcome for the blessing. May it be so.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you, my friend! xoxo

  9. Thanks Jo. Your combos are always a delight to all the senses! Supersize me!

  10. Thank you for the kind words, Dubby.

    (I think that dragon took care of that, though) ;-)


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