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It’s not too often that the Oban Times’ mid-February issue coincides exactly with Valentine’s Day, so this week’s subject has been chosen to mark that romantic coincidence. I can with relief report to readers of last week’s article that the house-moving hasn’t yet been too arduous and on Thursday night, hopefully we’ll manage to extract ourselves from building Ikea furniture and do something fitting to honour the day.
Love is undoubtedly one of the most powerful forces running through mankind and it is no coincidence that it has been the favoured subject of poem, song and other vehicles of literature since these art-forms were conceived. As well as being powerful, love is one of the most complex areas of life and under its wide umbrella are many variants.
Between people, as well as the physical love of attracting sexes, there is family love, the love of friendship and the wider general love for the fellow human being. For those who are religious, there is the love of the divine in its many forms, shown both to human representatives or leaders and to the gods of various faiths. There is also a type of love that relates to place, landscape and ocean and, of course, there is the love felt for animals, nature and the world as a whole.
Among these and the many other types of love are an infinite number of mixed, interweaving and crossing strands of the mind and body that together create one of the most fascinating and fulfilling and potentially painful aspects of life.
The strand of love celebrated most widely on St Valentine’s Day is, of course, what is most commonly called Romantic Love. The following lyrics are a simple wee love song in that vein. Happy St Valentine’s Day to all.
Steering by the Stars – Angus MacPhail
I will set ahead my course by the clear celestial sky.
I will steer by the stars for wherever you may lie,
By the Guiding lights above to the heaven no one knows
For the faith I have in you my soul will trust the compass rose.
You, you are the ocean, and I, the setting sun
In your arms the fire is falling and the sky and sea are one.
I have travelled many shores and walked upon the waves
But the bonds of old could never hold for what the spirit craves.
Beyond the bays where shallow ways of consciousness compel –
The seven oceans of the earth where love and wonder dwell.
Past the far-off west horizon is the harbour where I’m bound,
Where the promised land of peace and the golden grail is found;
And the beams of gloried sunlight in a hundred coloured kind
Give dreams of new tomorrows every sorrow left behind.