One of the songs I heard my mother sing when I was a kid was “Nature Boy” by Eden Ahbez. It was one of the pieces I cut my teeth on when I was learning to ‘fake’ music from chord charts. It has a haunting melody with simple, beautiful chords. There’s one thing I just didn’t get.
I mean, the story made sense: There was a strange, enchanted boy who traveled the world. The narrator met him one day and they talked about everything, and then the boy said to him:
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return
Wait … that’s IT??
There was only one verse and yes, that was the sum total of the message.
As a kid that was such a let-down. Seriously??? The greatest thing I’m ever going to learn is something that simple???
Well, as it turns out, decades down the road, it’s not so simple. And not so easy – whether I have a romantic partner in my life or not – and right now I don’t.
And that’s where we get to Valentine’s Day. I used to resent this day, regardless of the romantic state of my life.
I resented the commercialism, the sense of responsibility to ‘show’ my love -and guilt when I didn’t. I resented having to look like I appreciated cursory displays of love from others that felt awkward or required. Big red heart-shaped boxes were cool – but after all that chocolate I just felt sick. Flowers just seemed like a terrifying illustration of fading glory and all its inevitability. I was a Valentine’s Day curmudgeon. The Scrooge of Valentine’s Day.
But now it’s different.
I can’t tell you how it changed. But love no longer seems like something to have. Not something that requires a certain circumstance.
To love and be loved can happen in an instant. A thousand times a day. In tiny ways I didn’t even know were love.
Romance is a choice, a way of seeing, a way of communicating and of listening.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be big.
It just has to be shared.
And that’s why I’m inviting you into my living room tonight for love songs. I’m planning to get there at 8:30 pm EST on Facebook LIVE and I’ll sing you all the love songs I know, or at least until my voice gives out.
To make sure we’re connected via Facebook so you’ll get a notification, do this:
1. GO TO my Official HipHarp Facebook Page
2. CLICK the LIKE button if you haven’t already done that (The text on the button should change to “LIKED” once you’ve liked the page)
3. HOVER over the “Followed” button until a drop-down appears
4. SELECT “See first” & “Notifications ON” in the drop down
To get a 15-minute reminder before it starts, click here, and assuming the fancy-schmancy automation works, you’ll get a reminder. And I’ll try to record it so you can watch it later in case you’re out with your Valentine.
IF YOU PLAY THE HARP ~ LEARN to sing & play the harp (instead of just listening to me):
Sign up for the First-to-Know list for my upcoming “Sing & Play the Harp” class. You can also fill out this quick set of questions, to help me shape the class.
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Deborah Henson-Conant's "Hip Harp Academy" online learning community is open for self-paced learning yearlong. DHC personal guides each class in the Academy once a year. Access to each guided class is limited to students who register before the 2nd week of class. Registration for the Fall Guided course, "HIp Harp TOOLKIT" is currently closed.
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