Saturday, February 14, 2009


It's Valentine's Day, and love is.... well how many cliches could I string together here? I'll just say relationships based on affection are deserving of some focus for a host of reasons. Loving-kindness can transform our mood, mental and physical health, nations, governments, cultures and commerce. That scares the wits out of some people. I think it is a magnificent part of our humanity - that we can overcome self-interest and transcend fear through love.

It occurred to me the other day, that the word "twitter-pated," literally, means bird-brained. "Twitter" = bird and "pated" a word from the Middle English, meaning brain, head or crown of the head. Addle-pated is another expression pivoting off of the word "pate."

"Twitterpated" has been used to refer to a person out of their head with love for another. Recently I have seen it used to refer to people engrossed in "twittering," or social networking electronically through the Twitter service. It's much the same thing, I think. It's all about connecting, about inserting relationships into the blank spaces of our lives to create meaning. In recent days, I have been playing around with Facebook and Ravelry, making connections with people I know and am getting to know. It takes a lot of time. I wonder whether it is a good use of my time, and then imagine what else I might be doing with that time. I realize that I am more linked in to my relationships because of this practice than I would otherwise be, and that is a positive way to spend time.

So is bird watching. While looking for the Varied Thrush in St. Paul this morning, we ran into a birder I have met on many other occasions. He is a bit famous and I am not, so I re-introduced myself. He was kind and chatty and I am sad to say drove away only 15 minutes before the bird showed itself. Another fellow who held out with us came over to our car and talked. This was his third try, and six hours of effort had finally paid off. We shared our excitement at seeing this misplaced crabapple-eating wonder. It feels wonderful to share joy this way, with acquaintances, with strangers, with loved ones.

People laugh at birders, people in love, and people who make seemingly non-sensical decisions because of familial ties, friendship and loyalty. They laugh, and call those people twitter-pated, bird-brained, and other names. I think those people seeking and finding meaningful connections are lucky, lucky, lucky.

Happy Valentine's Day!


twinsetellen said...

This post made me smile again and again.

MarkN said...

Tres magnifique, mon amie!