If I had been a boy I might have been called Valentine. It’s a family name on my Dads side that my mum took a fancy to. She also liked Walter or Frederick after her dad. All in all I’m glad I was a girl.
We (Zeph, Ida and I) made cards for Steve which we presented him with this morning before he left for work and he gave us all a card and me a DVD of Outnumbered (which I love, it provides me with an opportunity to feel like I am a perfectly normal parent.)
This seems like a perfect Valentines balance. On the whole I disapprove of the whole Clinton’s shebang, the hideous pressure, the horrible teddies and think you should be nice to each other all the time. Of course the bit of me that loves any sliver of an excuse to celebrate is quite pleased to make cards and cut Z’s cheese and pickle sandwich into the shape of a heart.
Of course it’s probably the perfect evening for a bit of poetry. God I love it. In a greedy uneducated way I hasten to add. I first realised Steve was perhaps someone I might consciously choose to share my life with was when he surprised me by finishing my obscure Larkin quote. One of by best memories is him describing me as someone who was too fond of the sharp corners of the night, adding casually, “you know, like in that Amy Lowell poem.” He didn’t know that in a miserable unspoken corner of my mind that was exactly how I described my self-destructive actions to myself.
So in a Clinton’s salute to the dearest beard in my life;
When I go away from you
The world beats dead
Like a slackened drum.
I call out for you against the jutted stars
And shout into the ridges of the wind.
Streets coming fast,
One after the other,
Wedge you away from me,
And the lamps of the city prick my eyes
So that I can no longer see your face.
Why should I leave you,
To wound myself upon the sharp edges of the night?
From Sword Blades and Poppy Seeds By Amy Lowell