Contemplating The U.S. Navel

Me, Chicago, Hollywood and The Federal Government

Becky Sarwate

Becky Sarwate
Chicago, Illinois, USA
December 31
Communications Manager
Insurance Brokerage
I am about as liberal as they come, and please don't expect to change me, though I do sometimes sneak up on you with a surprise (pro-death penalty, for instance). Although gainfully employed as a full-time Marketing Manager, I keep my toes in the freelance pool as a journalist, theater critic, blogger and proud President of the Illinois Woman's Press Association. To read my work on this page is to find vignettes about Chicago, Hollywood, my own turbulent life, and of course, my number one passion: local and national politics.


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FEBRUARY 14, 2013 1:03PM

The Valentine's Day KISS Principle

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The Valentine's Day KISS Principle

It's 11:00 am on the morning of Valentine's Day 2013. Thus far I have suffered a nocturnal bite to the nose from my partner JC (an odd manifestation of some interesting dream) and have had bloodwork done to verify the proper function of my kidneys. Hardly the stuff of traditional romance, yet I've never felt happier or more loved than I do this Thursday.

The story of my life so far has taken some unbelievable and heartbreaking turns, yet this is the year I finally feel as though I'm coming into my own. No longer a confused stranger struggling to integrate my consciousness with the maps and scripts presented in girlhood, I reflect a confidence and security that I long believed impossible. Some of this evolution can be attributed to hard, painful personal and professional choices that brought me to the brink of what I thought I could survive. Other parts are owing to years of intensive psychotherapy with a trusted professional. The rest is self-reflection and the clarity of perspective that comes from silencing old, destructive voices. The dependable love of a man who really sees me and still likes the view certainly doesn't hurt.

St. Valentine's Day, from the traditional perspective of American consumerism, is a manufactured event with a definite marketing message: to love means to spend. It is only by lavishing trinkets, candies and expensive dinners in crowded restaurants upon our nearest and dearest that we can show the appreciation we are too busy or lazy to express the other 364 days of the year. But this year feels different and it's not just internally. Friends, colleagues and unknowns alike appear to be, for lack of a batter word, more grateful. Are the root causes grand and general, a sort of collective relief that we're all still here despite the lingering effects of the Great Recession, the paralyzed toxicity of the nation's governing processes and a post-9/11 awareness that our lives are no longer insulated from what happens "over there?" In an era of so many big, complex challenges that start from the moment we open our eyes each morning, is it that much easier to notice and appreciate the small things?

Whatever the dynamics, I've experienced no small amount of satisfaction today reading open expressions of love from corners often regarded as cynical and jaded. It's like an unwritten resolution was passed that, at least for today dammit, we're going to experience joy in the connections, labor and hobbies that make struggling tolerable. There's something poetic in that.

My contribution is to suspend examining the titular U.S. Navel of this blog and keep it simple. I love my life as it is today. I love my career and the direction in which it's traveling. I love my partner, the one who nourishes my body, mind and soul. I adore the friendships I have built and the reciprocal delights of those strong bonds. I cherish my family, diverse, untraditional and thus, completely perfect. There will be plenty of time for overthinking and strategizing tomorrow and the days to come. Today is about gratitude for where I am and what I experience - in this moment.


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Love Thyself ~ I think that was the most important commandment, so good job!
What a great little essay on Valentines Day. The last paragraph deserves a major media podium for its proper display. What better place for me to leave my little Valentines gift than your exquisitely crafted piece.

Valentines Times day traces its origins back to the second century when a great teacher named Valentinus had picked up the baton of Jesus and become the defacto pope of the fledgling Christian Church. Nobody was paying much attention to Paul and his venomous misogynistic ranting back then except for maybe Tertullian who was busy cutting off his own penus so he would no longer be attracted to that evil creature we now call woman. What Valentinus was teaching is that the Goddess (Sophia) was just as important as the God (Jesus). Together they were bride and bridegroom and it was only through their unification through sacred marriage that man would ever escape the imprisonment of the material world of the demiurge (the God of Abraham). His teachings were particularly attractive to woman which is why Christianity spread like wild fire. This simply would not do for many of the eunuch slaves who were also attracted to Christianity for its message of equality. The eunuchs all got together and somewhere around February of 166 AD spread the word that Valentinus had been martyred and that anymore proclamations about doctrine issued forth from the great man were simply forgeries. Because of the immense power eunuchs welded as the favored sexual toys of the Roman Empire their ruse worked and we now have the concoction of the council of Nicaea which pretty much excludes woman from everything, even heaven.

Happy Valentines Day from Jack Heart
I'm with you.
Celebrate the Holiday you want and feel.
Not the echo of a sales pitch.
Love? What's not to like.
Happy VD
I was thinking this myself and made myself a terrific Indian dinner and smiled at me, just the way I liked to be smiled at.