Love?

flower

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Yesterday was the first time I understood Valentine’s Day. I think it helped that I was in a place where you would not be ostracized by the fact that you don’t have a date. Valentine’s Day was just another date on the calendar. Coming from where I came from though, I still felt that this day was special. I’m just glad that I was away from the girls carrying bouquets of flowers from their boyfriends or boys carrying bouquets of flowers for their girlfriends. It is like scrolling through Facebook. You see a little piece of other people’s lives and you spend the rest of the day questioning what you have done with your life to not deserve a bouquet in your arms. Being away from all that is like logging out of Facebook. It’s freedom. It allows you to make your own meaning of life.

And love. That is the only meaning of Valentine’s Day for me. Technically, I do not understand that word. But as ambiguous as it is, it still makes more sense than chocolates and flowers and diamond rings. I watched Girls yesterday and one of the characters said that love is the easiest thing in the world. I want to protest. I really do. But somehow, I can’t get myself to. Every moment that I was breathing in Valentine’s Day air, I was being reminded to be grateful for my continued existence. And every time that I was greeting someone with a heart-felt “Happy Valentine’s Day!” I was shouting it in the face of someone that I cared about. If love then had to be explained, I’d probably use its middle name, appreciation, or its nickname, caring, somewhere in the definition. Two words that are beautiful enough for me to understand love.

I used to despise Valentine’s Day. It was a reminder that another year had passed with me buying Ferrero Rocher for myself, not having allergies from pollen-ridden flowers in my arms, not braving the traffic with someone holding my hand. It turns out, all it takes is getting on a plane and landing not too far away. I can buy my Ferrero Rocher. I can have allergies from other things besides flowers. And I can sway my arms while walking alone. I am all right. I am amazing. Valentine’s Day is about love. And it is what I have within and all around me. Happy Valentine’s Day everyday, everybody.

 

Unfriend

two-friends

I unfriended him today on Facebook. I feel tears marching their way towards my eyes. I feel a frown slipping its way down my lips. I feel a heartbeat thumping against my chest. I feel moisture in my throat drying out. I feel a weight resting on my shoulders. I feel a throbbing coursing through my brain. This is how sadness feels. This is how anger feels.

This is a step that I am proud to have taken. I don’t know if it’s the right step, I am proud nonetheless. I have held on to that hope for far too long. To be honest, I know that I still am holding on. I am still waiting for him to change his mind. I am waiting for everybody to change their minds. They never have. I don’t know why I am still hoping that they ever will.

My shoulders are getting heavier still. My breath is getting shallower.

I am proud of what I have done. That is all there is to it right now. There is anger, sadness, disappointment, discouragement. But I hope still. So pride. That’s all there is to it right now.

Am I Blue? by Alice Walker

type-animals.blogspot.com.au

type-animals.blogspot.com.au

Summary

In Am I Blue?, the author tells the story of her encounters with a horse named Blue and of its profound effect on her. The piece tells of the emotions that she has observed occurring in the horse, from boredom — with being alone all the time— to contentment —at finding a partner— and to hatred —for having the said partner taken away. The author points out how all these transpired due to man’s total disregard for animal suffering, much the same way man disregards his own fellow’s suffering.

Memorable Passage

“…white children, who were raised by black people, who knew their first all-accepting love from black women, and then, when they were twelve or so,… “forget”

I have often wondered about this. How can you possibly think of people who have raised you and loved you as mere tools afterwards? How do you forget? It’s not really the memories in their heads that seem to have been lost but the ones in their hearts. You don’t forget love. I don’t know how that can ever be possible.

“…animals try to tell us…“Everything you do to us will happen to you; we are your teachers, as you are ours. We are one lesson.”

I find this line awfully beautiful. I have always believed in the idea that a part of us resides in everybody and everything. That we share but one soul, and in the end we’re all just one whole entity. I believe this about nature, the trees, the flowers, the sky. But never have I thought about it with regards to animals. What pain we inflict on them, what joy we share with them will be a reflection of the same pain and joy that we make people around us feel.

Writer’s Point

At first look, two main points may be gotten from the essay. One obviously points out the author’s compassion for animals and her disappointment with man’s ignorance towards animal needs. The other idea that would be observed is how she used Blue’s situation as a symbolism for the evolving forms of discrimination in our society. But with deeper appreciation for the piece comes the realization that these two points are not and could not be separated from each other. The author throws light at the culture of discrimination in general. As in the passage I chose earlier, the author believes that we are one lesson. We are one. We cannot use or abuse people the same way we cannot do it to animals. We are one. Whatever it is you feel you deserve, whether it be love or respect or joy, every human and every animal deserves too.

How the Piece Might be Useful To My Writing

I am still starting to figure out the style I am comfortable in when writing. There was one time not very long ago, when I decided that I wanna be a dirty realist. I dried that out, I mean I tried that out. It was interesting but I figured I liked using more words. In Am I Blue?, I found some sentences that are too long but also some that are deliciously long. Not anywhere in the essay did I spot a pretentious tone. I like that. I strive for that.

Reason for Enjoying

I enjoyed the piece very much. The topics that the author delved into are ones that I have not directly tackled before. I thought because of this disconnect, I would not be pulled into the narrative. But I was. For the most part, the author’s approach was romantic and yet straight to the point. No part of it caused me boredom or disinterest. I was genuinely excited about what happens both to Blue and the essay itself.