Sweets for the Sweet

Photo by Monica Arellano-Ongpin

Did you know that Saturday was a holiday?

Perhaps calling Sweetest Day a holiday is a stretch. It’s more of an observance. And given the fact that the Great Lakes area of the United States is the only part of the population really acknowledging the day, even calling Sweetest Day an observance is probably something akin to calling our pug, Charlie, the king of the jungle.

Nevertheless, the day is set aside as an opportunity to celebrate love.

Although I tend to consider this a contrived, somewhat commercialized holiday, I found myself joining the ranks of saps this year. But by proxy. Only by proxy. My sweet’s birthday happened to be this weekend. So, we found a sitter for the kids and spent some quiet moments together perusing the shelves at an old bookstore. This place acquires used books from several places, their primary source being old libraries. I found a couple of books I had read as a preteen and half expected to open their covers and find my name scrawled on the inside.

The jackpot of my finds was a book of old letters, varied in scope and whose authors range from George Washington to Percy B. Shelley. I love this book. And in honor of Sweetest Day, I thought I’d post a few excerpts that might bring out the sweet in you.

From the poet John Keats to Fanny Brawne, the literal “girl next door”:

“I have no limit now to my love. I have been astonished that men could die martyrs of religion. I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more. I could be martyrd [sic] for my religion–love is my religion–I could die for you. My creed is love and you are its only tenet. You have ravish’d me away by a power I cannot resist. … My love is selfish. I cannot breathe without you … Yours for ever.”

Ludwig Van Beethoven to his “Immortal Beloved”:

“My angel, my all, my very self–only a few words today and at that with pencil–not till tomorrow will my lodgings be definitively determined upon–what a useless waste of time. Why this deep sorrow where necessity speaks–can our love endure except through sacrifices–except through not demanding everything–you can change it that you are not wholly mine, I not wholly thine. Look out into the beauties of nature and comfort yourself with that which must be–love demands everything and that very justly–thus it is with me so far as you are concerned, and you with me.”

Pierre Curie to Marie Sklodovska:

“Nothing could have given me greater pleasure than to get news of you. The prospect of remaining two months without hearing about you had been extremely disagreeable to me: that is to say, your little note was more than welcome.”

Yours, very agreeably,

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