We are our only creative limitation.

Valentines Day a day of death, imprisonment and whipping.

What the? Today is the day sold as the day of love and romance.  However, many bloody brawls will take place, many hearts will be broken, there will be emptiness and loneliness and many expectations will be dashed on the rocks of hope.

You may be thinking 'um...Patti...this is a real downer .... what the hell are you on about?'
I agree this all sounds a bit dark and tragic but it is actually closer to the truth of the origins of this day.

Feb. 15 was once the Wolf Festival and ritual of fertility which involved animal sacrifices and then half naked young men, faces covered in blood, running through the streets flagellating women with bloody thongs made from freshly cut goat skins.  This was to promote fertility.  I'm still trying to figure out that logic.

After this saucy event was banned by Pope Gelasius St. Valentines Day was created.  There are 3 men called Valentine in the A.D. 200s.  All died horrible deaths.  One was a Priest who helped a blind girl and then was beheaded, one was a pious Bishop who was tortured and beheaded. The third was illegally marrying couples and once arrested the legend says he fell in love with his jailer's daughter.  Leaving her a farewell note to "My Valentine" before he was beaten then decapitated.

Perhaps you prefer the origins being by Duke Charles who was imprisoned in the Tower of London.  He wrote his wife a poem which started with "Je suis desja d'amour tanné. Ma tres doulce Valentinée." [I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine]. She died before he returned to France.

Why am I telling you all of this?  At Loose Moose Keith Johnstone would urge us all to read, to be curious about life, history, people, events.  This knowledge fuels our imagination, and informs our range of choices.  So the next time someone suggest a Valentines Day scene remember the above.  It doesn't have to be roses and dinner.  We are our only creative limitation.

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