February is a strange month. My Dad died in February, twenty-one years ago, so it’s a month I find myself missing him often and remembering him lots. Bereavement and loss are a universal experience, and Valentines Day will be a very difficult time for some.
Valentine’s is a strange time too. I’m not religious as such, but we have this notion of giving things up for Lent and waiting all the way until Easter before we relent, give in to temptation and revert to our wicked gluttoness ways. Yet only a few days after Ash Wednesday, there’s the idea that you should be treated with fine chocolate and sweet goodies for Valentine’s – and that if you’re single, you should ‘treat yourself’. The commercial pressure for Valentines is similar to that for Christmas, only less, because there’s only one recipient. You shouldn’t have to spend money to show someone you love them… although of course, if you’re celebrating together, it usually requires spending of money…
I’m still trying to work out what ‘Candlemas’ is about – another puzzling February non-phenomena.
For a change, enjoyment of music was how I treated myself a little this extended Valentine’s weekend, starting with Nine Inch Nails, ‘With Teeth’ on Friday evening. Saturday afternoon / early evening, I enjoyed considering my Valentine’s playlist, although I sang some parts of my fave songs to myself while making my list, and I only actually listened to some Liam Bailey – but he’s a fine Valentine’s Eve virtual companion. My very late Saturday night was made extra-special by catching indie-band LunarTides live-streaming on TwitchTV, I often miss it due to the time-zone difference. Apparently it was their last one for a while, to concentrate on making a CD – I cannot wait to get my ears round one!
Sunday, I slept most of the day, having been awake most of the night and early into the morning. Once I woke and got my blogging-boots back on again, I spent quite a lot of time enjoying the vibes over at Calen’s blog, it’s such a serene atmosphere, mindful, calming, uplifting… It only occurred to me today that I could play her tunes in one tab while reading her posts in another (doh!) I was so pleased to find her post for Lee Marvin, ‘Wandering Star’ – playing that took me right back to our living room, watching that film with my dad when I was a kid – every time it was shown, we’d watch it. I also lapped up some Joni Mitchell, the Drifters, a few others, and picked up some interesting background info I didn’t know along the way.
I’m really enjoying reading Calen’s Lent challenge responses every day and returning more frequently than a couple of times around the weekly Sandbox challenge, I notice more of the wonderful things I’ve been missing there. As I said earlier, I’m not really religious-minded, but Calen’s Lent posts are worldly and relevant and I give joyful thanks for the period of Lent having some meaning for me this year – and the blessings of internet acquaintance – virtually meeting real people in a very real online world. (I have given up buying chocolate and sweets for Lent too, I’ve never really bothered giving anything up for Lent before).
I recommend to watch and listen to this, it is absolutely amazing and was a lovely Valentine’s Sunday listen. My absolute favourite of the day though was finding some Leonard Cohen, closely followed by eleven minutes of I Heard It On the Grapevine..
It’s way past midnight while I’m updating this post, but published privately, I cheated on my date…
Mmm, that might give the wrong impression. Never mind…going public, with pre-saved date stamp…[updated post].