Alarming

I have faith in a few things, but not my three alarm clocks. I simply cannot trust them to perform the simple task they were designed to do, which is to wake me up and get me out of bed at an early hour. The oldest of the three actually functionally works, except that the LED numbers have somehow worn thin so that I cannot see them, making the thing useless. I don’t know why I continue hanging on to it. I guess that I secretly hope the numbers will light up once again. Maybe today I shall give it a toss. The second clock looks quite like the first, which is why I bought it, because the first one was so faithful to me before the numbers wore thin. This second one, however, is just flat out unreliable. It may ring one day, but not the next, so I can put no trust in it. The third is a radio alarm clock. The stations seem to drift in the middle of the night so that when the alarm goes off, it goes off silently. I set all three last night, and none of them woke me up this morning. What awakened me was my own internal alarm, which is accustomed to dragging me out of bed at an early hour no matter what. I suppose I must go shopping today for a fourth alarm clock. If I find one that actually works, the first two will get tossed, but I will keep the radio, as it does occasionally play music when it chooses to do so.

Now that I have discussed broken clocks, it makes an easy segue to discussion of the passage of time and the arrival of this day. I calculate this Valentine’s Day to be the 46th one that the misses and I have celebrated, though not all of them together, as we had some bad years that removed us from one another. Celebrating bad years is not so good, so we have agreed to skip over our accounting of those, and blend them in with the good years, calling it one long endearing marriage. She enjoys her privacy, her anonymity, so I seldom write much about her in this journal. If I did, my comments would be benign, but to her way of thinking discussion of others approaches being gossip. I would argue the point, but I would never win. At best, it would be a stand-off. And my journal is supposed to be an exercise for me in freeing myself, not in binding myself or looking for argumentation or domestic trouble. So I will bring flowers, we will go out to eat dinner, we will swap Valentine cards, and the love we have celebrated this long will continue.

All of life should be about the celebration of love, even though what the term “love” means can vary so much from one person to the next. In some literary traditions, love is hot emotion bubbling within that causes a person to be reckless and foolish, beyond one’s senses with passion. In another tradition, it is more about long-term commitment, sacrifice, willingness to endure pain. Between these two definitions lie a hundred more. I enjoy thinking about the variety of definitions. Men have a difficult time stating that they love someone. It must have to do with the fact that the term “love” is so poorly defined, or has such a wide degree of interpretation. Just look at this definition I found on a website.

“Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment.[1] Love is also a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection; and “the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”.[2] Love may also be described as actions towards others (or oneself) based on compassion, or as actions towards others based on affection”

Love is an emotion, a virtue, and an action. For such a very common word in our daily language, it has such imprecise meaning. Or is it that the meaning is complex? The purest form of love maybe encompasses all three definitions? To best define love, I’d have to be a Russian novelist writing a thousand-page story, but then the misses would never read it. When I tell her I love her, I’m pretty sure she takes that to mean definition number one. At least she never questions me about which meaning I’m referring to, and that seems to make the partnership continue.

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