I was listening to NPR this morning and they interviewed Robin Wright, who plays Claire, and writer Beau Willimon from House of Cards. Season 2 is released for binge viewing today.
It was fascinating! I agree with a lot of what they said. Love is in fact transactional, and Claire and Frank’s relationship is self-serving, sure, but one way to look at love is that that is what love is - a transaction to fulfill your emotional, sexual, and even lifestyle needs. Anyone who denies this is either naïve or, well, in denial.
We don’t like to look at love this way. We also don’t like to look at the origins of the Valentine holiday. Every time you have a saint, you have to have someone who was viciously murdered for their beliefs. There’s a bunch of different stories about St. Valentine, but generally he’s believed to have been killed for marrying Christians and generally helping them, which was a crime at the time.
At its most basic, doesn’t this accord completely with our idea of Valentine's? Someone died ~ was martyred ~ helping couples in love. St. Valentine is in fact the embodiment of love, much like Jesus: a martyr, someone who gives of themselves and they are killed for it. That’s what we say: “I love you so much, I would die for you.”
I guess it’s just in my nature to recognize the yin and yang of everything. Love has a dark side, but I would also be the first to acknowledge that it is the force that moves the world. It’s the force of all good in the world.
May your life be filled with love.