A Valentine from me to you

I used to be indifferent to Valentines Day until my yoga teacher, a very wise man named Naresh, changed my mind about it. Naresh loves Valentines Day because, he says, any excuse to celebrate love has to be a good one. I think that’s such a cool, arms-outstretched way of approaching life. So thank you, Naresh.

And Happy Valentines Day, everyone! Here are some more takes on love from people I admire. Please feel free to add your own favorite quotes, thoughts or stories about love to the comment thread, or to explain which of the following touched you.

~Alicia Bessette

Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.”

Marguerite Duras: “You have to be very fond of men — very, very fond of men — to love them. Otherwise, they’re simply unbearable.”

Thich Nhat Hanh: “Understanding and love are interdependent. Love is made of understanding, and understanding is made of love.”

Mary Oliver: “To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.”

Mother Teresa: “Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.”

And, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

And, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

18 Replies to “A Valentine from me to you”

  1. Mary Oliver has a poem about two turtles that is probably the best love poem ever. because it’s not about human love, it’s about turtles in love. and turtles are awesome.

  2. What lovely thoughts! The quote about loving men made me laugh… and I found the Mother Theresa one thought-provoking. It seems to say to me that we need to take care of ourselves, too, without giving, giving, giving all the time. It’s a lesson that a lot of women I know are grappling with. But giving can also replenish the soul, so it’s a delicate balance.

  3. Here’s one of my favorites, an Italian proverb:

    Amore regge senza legge.

    Or, “Love rules without rules.”

    And here’s the Shakespearean sonnet I had read at my wedding.

    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 proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

  4. To fans of baseball and Valentines: be sure to check out that link Scott posted!

    Scott, not much longer until I start kicking your butt in Fantasy Baseball … yet again.

    And Kristina, thank you for copying that sonnet here. It’s just beautiful.

  5. To be clear, the last three quotes are attributed to Mother Theresa.

    Speaking of good works in India, my sister-in-law Megan, a pediatric nurse, is there now with Operation Smile, repairing cleft palates in hundreds of children. To me that says “love” loud and clear.

  6. I like that one bestin your collection:Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.”
    It expresses in such a simple way what 2 people have to do. And believe me, it works!!
    And I found another one which I like a lot but I don’t know the author:
    “Love, like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets an obstacle.”
    Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  7. And how could I forget my favorite: Rumi!

    Here are two good ones:

    “The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”

    And, “This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”

  8. She says we gotta hold on to what we got
    It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not
    We got each other and that’s a lot…for love
    We’ll give it a shot!

    Halfway there…

    One of New Jersey’s finest…JBJ

  9. “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.”

    Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)

  10. From “Tin Wedding Whistle” by Ogden Nash:

    Near and far, near and far,
    I am happy where you are;

    Likewise I have never larnt
    How to be it where you aren’t.

    Then grudge me not my fond endeavor,
    To hold you in my sight forever;

    Let none, not even you, disparage
    Such a valid reason for a marriage.

  11. Another one from Rumi.
    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

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