Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Quest of Sir Valentine: The Real Origin of Valentine’s Day

The Quest of Sir Valentine: The Real Origin of Valentine’s Day

Many times come and many go, but, the time that presents as very now seems the only one to matter then. So it was for Sir Valentine as he wandered the countryside, actually, scoured would be more apt. You see, Sir Valentine was seeking that one lady whose love he was sure motivated him to wake each day, caused him to be that annoying do-gooder neighbor and stranger that so many detested, made him think of strange thoughts to those around him about the fabrication of the world, about why trees talked and no one seemed to listen, about why the animals were constantly whispering in voices others seemed not to hear, but most importantly, about her, who as far as anyone could see did not exist at all! Mostly, others thought him odd, strange, weird, “funny,” or even schizophrenic, and so eventually, Sir Valentine became isolated and reclusive in order to avoid the hot flames of disapproval worn so openly on their judgmental sleeves.

But, this did not depress him, for the extra time allowed him to concentrate on his future Lady Valentine allthemore. And, so he did, as you could imagine, being mostly alone and left to his own thoughts and imagination. As Sir Valentine thought, imagined, and conjured her forth from the mist of his own very active imagination, she gradually took form, like clouds becoming a goddess of pure beauty, which clouds, it turns out would follow him from time to time, especially when he was with her in poignantly palpable imaginings and fantasies. Finally, he could see the beginnings of a form of the great Lady Valentine, this after writing love poetry for decades about her and never seeing her, only moved forward in his love of her that he knew existed somehow.

Future poets and artists would see in Sir Valentine a religious faith in his unknown Lady Valentine. Future psychoanalysts would say, knowingly, at this very point of the story that he was delusional, succumbing to his fantasies turning into phantasies, and that he was facing a serious psychological fracture in falling in love with his own anima. What all these future folks mentioned and unmentioned failed to realize was that their thoughts passed directly into Sir Valentine’s head as he thought and imagined each day, mostly about Lady Valentine. The negative thoughts Sir Valentine discarded as that part of him that was unwilling to move forward, just as his wise father had taught him. The positive thoughts Sir Valentine accepted as encouragement to continue and fed off them like horses eating hallelujah hay.

It was while eating some of his miraculous manna one day, that Sir Valentine actually had a vision that informed him of what to do, as it pertains to Lady Valentine and finding her. He had been riding the countryside, well, again, scouring it, like a brillo champion, when he decided to rest underneath his favorite mammoth old tree. His father had taken him out as a youth and advised him to find a tree that spoke to him, and in ways that he felt deeply. They rode and walked for miles and miles, miles and miles, until finally a very large, nay gigantic, tree spoke so clearly and loudly to him that he nearly fell off his horse.

It was to this very same tree that he rode quite often, to sit underneath her, on her roots, to listen to her stories, and sometimes she to listen to his, and to cry his woes as she listened soothingly; this very same tree he rode to that fateful day. No one can say if it was the tree that revealed the vision of her heavenly heart, or whether it was the clouds above that parted and sunrays entered through the top of his head, and frankly, not many cared then, but, somehow, after decades of wandering, Sir Valentine finally knew what she looked like, what she felt like, and that he would be with her. After profusely thanking the tree, the clouds, the sky, and everything that might have contributed to this momentous gift, he leapt upon his horse and galloped off toward home to prepare. He was so excited and thrilled that he nearly washed the dust off his horse’s back as he rode about the hillsides and under the canopy of the trees and sky, in what appeared to be a meandering and routeless route, but which picturesque path returned him home in high spirits.

Whereupon, he began planting the rose bushes of rainbow colors all across that gorgeous landscape he knew and loved like the wrinkles in his skin. Despite the fact that the vision mentioned roses, with Sir Valentine’s very active imagination, he just knew that Lady Valentine would appreciate more than the fantastic fragrance of roses, for their thorns can make quite the impasse, and thus he planted a variety of flowers, trees, flowering bushes, and even ferns so that she would feel this place to be as magical as he had always known it to be, and also then find her way attracted to it long enough to stay so that he might find her one day. So, he planted and planted, and then one day while the local people, as well as people from far away, had heard of this noble gent’s earnest efforts to create a paradise for his Lady Valentine to enjoy a blooming flower every day of the year, the people gradually began to visit her sanctuary. When visiting, many were struck by the reverence of the place, feeling as if somehow the place itself were imbued with energy, but nothing negative or deserving of a hanging, stoning, drowning, or burning, rather, something to be emulated. Perhaps it was during these visits that many people began to open their eyes, and gaze upon their surroundings with heightened awareness and to see that even their places had some of this energy. Whatever the case, future philosophers were sure that this was the decisive moment in history that the notion of land and landscapes having soul was born.

Nonetheless and allthemore, one thing was certain, the people were changing, and in numerous ways. You see, love was actually blooming, her fragrance was filling the neighborhoods as more and more people planted roses and all manner of beautiful flowers, bushes and trees, and, as they did so, they became more connected to the very undersurface of what they often trampled upon with unknowing and uncaring feet; they became more interrelated with each other; they became more interconnected with the entirety. As love bloomed further, and as Sir Valentine’s gardens grew in scope and majesty, the people themselves began to believe that they had seen the Lady Valentine, or that surely she would come tomorrow, and eventually, many of them knew she would come on this particular day.

Thus, the people came out in droves on that day, cutting flowers on the way, holding hands here, arms around each other there, and kissing everywhere: the very nature of love seemed destined to stay. Sir Valentine had also known she would come that day, and so he washed himself thoroughly, anointing himself with myrrh, cedar, and juniper berry oils. What he did not know would surely make him leap for joy. As he neared the gardens, riding carefully through swaths of pilgrims, first one handed him a gorgeous bouquet of rare flowers not even found in his gardens, then another handed him a parchment extolling her charms, and when another handed Sir Valentine some homemade chocolates, he knew what a perfect meeting this would be.

The appointed time came, for even the hour was foretold, and thousands of people had gathered around that very same ancient tree Sir Valentine had so often received comfort from, cried under, and under which he imagined the Lady Valentine arriving, and the people parted as only a wave does when special divining poles are used, to allow Sir Valentine to reach the open circle underneath the tree. Of course the tree had a name, it had revealed this to Sir Valentine before he was a Sir, advising him to only tell others when the time was right. And so, he had long held this secret, wondering if ever such a time would come. He knew in an instant, that that time was now. He also knew it was time to address the people gathered round, to thank them for not trampling the gardens underfoot, to thank them for sharing his belief that she would come today, and for all of the many gifts they had given to she and him, so that their day might be wonderful. So he did. Upon finishing his discourse, after which people applauded and cheered, some snapping their fingers in approval, others gently tapping the backs of their hands, and some whistling loudly, all the sudden, in an instant, the tree seemed to vanish.

Perhaps not vanish, as much as part, for thereupon from out of the trunk of Valentius stepped the most radiant and glowing lady anyone could ever recall seeing or hearing of. In fact, most of the people thought her a goddess and as if another wave parted, they bowed in waves that rippled across the gardens. Only Sir Valentine was left standing, in front of the shimmering and lustrous Lady Valentine. Then, what happened next none can agree upon, not even those people in the crowd that day, for all saw it differently. Some saw the Lady bow to the Sir, while others saw the Sir bow to the Lady, and others saw him fumble to give her the gifts he was carrying behind his back, whereas others saw them embrace with such passion and love as to kindle the fires of the core and birth a volcano. Many other versions surfaced and continue to surface, as Sirs and Ladys celebrate their love throughout the millennia. The best thing that happened that day, which most people who did stay there concur, was the way in which the Lady and the Sir Valentine celebrated their love openly and warmly shared it with others. The gifts they were given in honor of this momentous occasion were returned in full by the love they shared with all.

Many times continue to come and many to go, as they ever will, like the rhythms of the beach that match the marching of the mountains and the loping of the forests, but, the time that presents as very now will always seem the only one to matter then. So it was for Sir Valentine and Lady Valentine as they wandered the gardens together in bliss and happiness. You see, though some called him foolish, Sir Valentine never deterred from seeking that one lady whose love he was sure woke him each day, had him doing good, and thinking oddly about the world, about talking trees, about whispering animals, and most importantly, about her, who would one day exist indeed!

May you find that love, rekindle the one you found, and ever remember Sir and Lady Valentine and Valentius the magnificent Tree of Love!


At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Impressive. Would love to see things you wrote in your youth too. - Sally

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Scott Michael Potter said...

Thanks Sally, youthful writings have mostly been lost.

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous missy said...

Hello scotty, I have been looking for you forever on facebook. I cant believe I have found you. I can't miss your poetic artistry and your way of speaking in your writings. I miss that. How is life? Contact me at Oh yeah by the way this is Missy from Buchanan street and woodland skating rink- still a runner I see. from missy now melissa in my older days

At 9:47 AM, Blogger Scott Michael Potter said...

Hello Melissa,
Great to hear from you, and thanks for reaching out, I will email you....
Life's Force,
Scott Michael

At 2:42 AM, Blogger rtfgvb752 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................


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