Couples at square dance, McIntosh County, Okla...

Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

Not many evenings ago as Rob and I sat at our desks in the home office because we still don’t have a living room and the new incredibly comfy sofa is sandwiched behind the dining room table in the space soon to be known as the kitchen, I waxed wistfully about the not so far off day when the fireplace will be operational and he and I can curl around each other in front of it.

“Like the teenager I never was, ” I said.

“We’ll need mood music,” he replied.

“70’s and make out-ish,” I concurred.

April Wine it is.”

Truthfully, I only knew the most syrupy bland ballad of their career before I met Rob. A Canadian band, most of April Wine never made it onto the American Top Forty rotation, which is a shame. And even more truthfully, the first romantic interlude Rob and I shared was soundtracked by Tool, but the former is a better V-day pick.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day, whether you celebrate or scorn it, anything that promotes love has an edge on just about everything else in the world.

Happy Valentine's Day

Image by Abby Lanes via Flickr

I was hiding Valentine’s booty the other day and warned Rob not to peek.

“I hate Valentine’s,” he said. “Why is there Valentine’s? I wouldn’t participate at all if it weren’t for you.”

and your insistence that we celebrate every Hallmark X on the calendar … but that was unspoken.

He’s not a curmudgeon about it.

Okay, he is, but he believes that love should be expressed in the moment and not confined to arbitrarily set time periods.

Some of my exuberance stems from the fact that for much of my life, Valentine’s was a holiday I watched others celebrate and now that I have children and husband I am a full participant and it’s awesome. But I really don’t see evil in blocking out time to make an effort to express feelings that – even though they can be spoken and shown anytime – are more often than not lost in the daily rush.

Love is worth a big deal holiday of its own, in my very humble opinion.

There is still a bit of Valentine prep left to do, but in the spirit of spontaneity and dissociating the feelings from the prison of the calendar, I offer a tune.

To my husband, Rob, with much love always and an ocean of appreciation for everything he does for me – which is an awful lot – without any thought for himself.

You rock, Baby. XOXOX


Halloween costumer, New Orleans.

Image via Wikipedia


As theories go, this has more validity than most:

Most people dress up as themselves for Halloween.

And I can buy this. We tend to select costumes that are merely extensions of or amplifications of parts of who we are every day.  Or who we think we are.  After all, many of us haven’t the vaguest idea of who we grew up to be though most of us don’t spend as much time over-thinking it as I do.

But for something completely different this Halloween, the premise of really personifying one’s shadow self was recently put on my table.

What is a shadow self?

It is the “you” that cannot be allowed to be for reasons that only you would know but are probably too hesitant, outright fearful or have completely buried.

Shadow Self is potential you.

Carl Jung put it this way,

“in spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity.”

Keeping in mind that “creativity” is a highly subjective term then, the shadow of who you could be is being held in reserve, or check, by you, the expectations – outside and self-imposed, denial and/or fear. And we haven’t even talked about simply being a clueless, completely indoctrinated lemming though I have to wonder what the shadow of a lemming might look like.

So while dressing up as a sexy witch or maid or princess or vampire is just an extension of sexy you that you very likely hint broadly at most of the time anyway, shadow you could be Thomas Edison. Unless someone is Mrs. Edison, Thomas is about as far from naughty librarian as it gets.

This is not to say that your shadow is devoid of characteristics you express strongly or vaguely on a daily basis.  Shadow you is someone who no one would expect to meet – ever – let alone on Halloween, locked and loaded.

I wonder then about my shadow. Because if shadows are not extensions, she is not a writer or teacher. Perhaps I embraced her on the yoga mat? But that seems like an extension of known aspirations and qualities to me.

‘Tis a puzzlement. And an exercise of interest, but perhaps not one that needs to be indulged in for such a frivolous occasion.