Sunday Styles in today's New York Times gave us more than one piece about love, today being Valentine's Day. What works and what doesn't in matters where "working" is an apt action word. Modern Love (always provocative), and something about Valentine's Day when you're alone, when you're wistful, when you're spending too much time on Facebook, when you're a gay or lesbian couple living in a State that tells them they're exempt from loving. Each story is short with a quippy "happy" ending, seemingly improbable for its too sensitive and personal voice. Like watching the wedding of strangers, the couple sharing their love in front of an audience of acquaintances throwing rice and clutching hankies-- and you & me watching from across the street, a vantage point that makes it seems a little put-on. That was my take on the New York Times vignettes. Call me a cynic. I'm happier doing my thing at home with my own cast of characters, listening to the ultimate in cynics, Rickie Lee Jones, sing about sad things on Valentines Day.

I've read so mcuh of late, about dreary February, and I just don't share the opinion. There's a certain recovery thing going on in February. Recovery, like coming up for air, or the day you know a flu is behind you. Snow comes, but it melts faster and is followed by incongruous flashes of a red bird or a round green patch. In North Carolina where I grew up there is a real and dependable February thaw. I remember dry and bright college mornings breathing Carolina lighter than air.

I love February, not because I have a beloved with whom I exchange a valentine, nor for the quick follow-up 6 days later of the day of my birth. It's that I believe in recovery, like forgiveness. February is over almost as soon as it starts, then March, and March is Spring. When color comes in longer flashes and the weight of dark begins to lift.

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