Sunday, February 14, 2010

The glory of love


"Gray is not a popular shade on the internet": A sentence from a recent article in the New York Times Magazine.

Indeed.

Discussion in Comments here is remarkably courteous, but generally the blogosphere is rife with contention. Flame and counter-flame. Bluff and bluster.

Come to think of it, it's not just the internet. In the U.S., at least, public discourse seems ever more shrill. Dueling rants on TV. Discourtesies in Congress. Tea-Party anger. Poor President Obama, whose temperament would appear to be one of moderation, is demonized by the right as a stealth Islamo-Marxist and chastised by the left as a wuss.

Gray is not a popular shade.

A week or so ago, I wrote about Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe's "middle ground", which he calls "the home of doubt and indecision, of make-believe, of playfulness, of the unpredictable, of irony." I suggested that there is truth in the middle ground, but it comes wrapped in hesitation, humility, tolerance, and (let us hope) grace.

On this Valentine's Day, let me reinforce that theme with a song, lyrics by Billy Hill, sung in my favorite rendition by the Five Keys:
You've got to give a little, take a little
And let your poor heart break a little
That's the story of, that's the glory of love

You've got to laugh a little, cry a little
Before the clouds roll by a little
That's the story of, that's the glory of love.

As long as there's the two of us
We've got the world and all its charms
And when the world is through with us
We've got each other's arms.

You've got to win a little, lose a little
And always have the blues a little
That's the story of, that's the glory of love.
(Click to enlarge Anne's Valentine pic.)