Aggie the cat was stretched out on the roof, just past the glass of the window that was tipped open to allow her coming and going. Taped to the glass was the vintage orange, cover of Tennessee Williams’, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. You would have had to be a complete idiot to have missed the pun.
It was tucked up in the reading room of Shakespeare and Company that I read, in its’ entirety, Neil Gaiman’s, Art Matters. Amongst all of the old, hard cover, well-bound books that had possibly been in the hands of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway or even Gertrude Stein, I soaked up the love of storytelling written by one of our contemporary masters.
Valentine’s day is the one day a year that we set aside to tell our love stories. There are very few of us who have lifetime love stories to tell, about meeting, marrying, raising children, and living into our twilight years hand in hand with our soul mate. But this isn’t the only love story. Love does not follow a script. It follows the heart, and hopefully, if you are lucky enough, you have, by mid-life ,a small collection of stories that continue to inspire you.
Spending time in Paris, tucked up on the old daybeds of Shakespeare and Company will always be one of those stories. The syncronicity of how I met my late, angel-to-artists friend Nick Beat is another.
Stories are the thread that binds the fabric of our collective experience. Sharing them should be treated as a sacred honour, worthy of our full attention. Worthy of dedicated time to gather and share.
February is mostly past. Valentine’s day is over. Our love stories involve more than romance and fairy tales. Don’t forget that. Celebrate all of those things that make you vibrant; tell your stories.