Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Is it safe to come out? Can I open my eyes?

Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and I’m happy to say, good riddance. It was my goal to stay in bed and sleep it away, but that was hard to arrange because I had things to do, appointments to keep and errands to run. I guess you could say I wasn’t feeling the love. (Don’t misunderstand me because love and I are simpatico, but on Valentine’s Day – well, that’s a whole other story.)

However, I tried to motivate myself into the spirit of the holiday, beginning my morning with a note on Twitter, wishing friends a happy day. I didn’t stop there, adding yet another note to Facebook. My intentions were good and my words honest, but somewhere in my heart what I was really saying was, “Have a good day, but leave me the hell alone.” (I know many will read this and say, that’s unlike you, Paul. What can I say? I have my bad days too. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be normal, whatever that means.)

I take Valentine’s Day seriously, remembering happier days when I was foolish and love was tangible, free of expectation. I was never apprehensive, but living in the moment, faithfully devoted to the one I wanted to be my Valentine. I miss those uncomplicated days before the computer, when love notes were written, cards were mailed, devotion was assured (at least I thought so), and quality was of the utmost importance. Much of this seems to have fallen to the wayside.

For the past few years I’ve allowed myself to fall into a trap (a cycle) focusing more on the ugliness of the day, because I know too many people who will celebrate this occasion under false pretenses, and all out of a conditioned response, and all I can say is, who needs that kind of love?


I admit it! Yesterday, I was way too cynical, and rightfully so. A betrayal of the heart can do that sort of thing, and Valentine’s Day reminds me of what I desperately want to forget, trying very hard to find my peace with that one person who violated what is so very important to me – trust, but I digress.

As always, I can successfully transcend those feelings of sadness when I walk with nature, and I did, thriving in the open air on the Stony Run Trail. I’m not one to stay in a funk for too long because it’s just not healthy, and not my modus operandi.

It was a nice afternoon, spending the latter part of it walking alone. It was peaceful with just a few birds fluttering about singing a joyful song. It was music to the ears and soothing to the soul, lifting my spirit to the place it was meant to be.

I ended one walk, only to begin another with a friend, who brought with her a happy day. She spent her afternoon at a lecture. I appreciate those times when she talks about her adventures, which are many and they are never boring. She makes age seem like a cakewalk, and I hope to follow her lead. She’s got the right attitude – stop giving a damn and live your life on your own terms.

Ours was a pleasant walk, ending up at Starbucks to sit near a window to gab some more. As she was getting her iced coffee I was observing the students leaving school. Many of the girls, and surprisingly, boys had heart decals on their faces, while others were caring bags containing Valentine cards and gifts. (Back in the day, boys thought they were too cool to carry such nonsense. Times have changed… Thank, God!)

I noticed this one little boy walking down the street holding his mother’s hand and with the other, his Valentines he collected from school. They were his gold, and he wasn’t letting them go – no way, no how. It was that, which breached my heart, opening a window into the past of what the day is truly about – unconditional love, which too many of us have lost sight of, but my eyes were open wide and so was my heart, especially for what came next.


Thank you, friends for your joy of the day – for you tokens of affection, kindness and love. They are heartfelt and never taken for granted.

To my favorite Valentine – you are purrfect in every way. You don’t talk, but are a great listener, and I love that you enjoy being held, for your love is tried and true, and always unconditional.


What we all deserve is love. What we all need is love. Love is love, and must never be judged. True love, regardless of sexual orientation must be respected and honored. The voyage through life as a single person can be challenging – daunting at times. So, if you are lucky to find another human being to share your journey, I say, "GO FOR IT." We must never forget that love has many shapes, sizes, and colors and is not finite.


The greatest power known to man is unconditional love. However, many have become stingy, greedy with what should be free flowing. At times it seems like an arbitrary concept. Many are under the assumption that they practice this daily. However, this careful observer knows this is far from true. Happiness is an internal feeling that should not depend on someone else's approval.

To those who want to stifle love: the freedom to love ranks right up there with the right to free speech and the freedom of religion. I hope many will begin to see the light, abandoning their bully pulpits to embrace those that need your love – now more than ever. Here’s to love. - paerki

What would life be like without memories? It’s fair to say, there would be no life at all. Memory is our communication, reason, coherence, our action and more importantly, our feeling. Memories create our path in life, developing our psychology and leading us emotionally.

One of the best ways to create and store memories is with video. These simple effortless little snippets of time create diaries and become perpetual time capsules, which justify our walk on earth, telling all with great enthusiasm… I was here! I mattered! I lived! Please, don’t forget me.

Share your views, thoughts and opinions in the written word. Snap photographs so that your eyes can travel back in time, remembering the happy and sad moments that made you the person you were, are and became in life. But, whenever possible, capture video to enhance the memories you leave behind, so that others may pass the essence of your life on to future generations.


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My large collection of images are a testament to a life lived. Life happens all around us so it’s important to collect special memories, and what better way than with a photograph.

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No matter what, know this: You are never alone. There are people out there who’ve struggled, endured, made it through and are sharing their message of survival. No, they might not be at your side, but their spirit is out there in words, attempting to help others on their journey. Let’s all unite by sharing our individual stories, remedies for healthy living, food and recipes to keep us strong, and let’s find the laughter too because it can be some of the best medicine. Always remember, there is power in numbers. Check me out: A Celiac On The Move

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"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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