on loving through the ugly
Over the years, Nana developed a penchant for ivy, and eventually the motif swallowed the ground floor, repeated from wallpaper to carpet to stencilling to the fake plastic garlands that hung over doorways. Where it was possible to put gold leaf, Nana put gold leaf, and mirrors covered at least one face of each room. Statuettes cluttered every surface beyond the reach of children: angels, Jesus-in-the-manger scenes, fruit and bread baskets, gold, pearl, silver, ceramic, you name it… In youth, opinions and attitudes are simply delivered to you, without your consent. When love is present before self-awareness ripens, when you find yourself yoked indelibly to someone with flawed character, you realize that it’s possible to love a person for their failures and faults, without loving the faults themselves. Think of your parents, whose social or political views may seem to you narrow or outdated. Think of the partners who simply don’t see things the way you do, sometimes, and of the work it takes to reach around those differences and love each other anyway.