Valentine’s, hearts and all

 Images via desdemventana
I must admit, I have an aversion to heart shapes, and to red (that flower above bothers me and I am resisting cropping it out as I think the photo would be highly improved without it).  So as one may see from yesterday’s post I am trying to challenge my inner heart scrooge.  I do find it interesting that the symbol, generally though of as the human center of emotional, moral, and spiritual being, comes to us from ancient times with varying opinion on what it references.  Some believe the human heart (although it only resembles it when from this angle), others the medicinal seed of the now extinct silphium plant, and yet others a direct reference to certain female anatomy.  The last theory “intertwined with the true-to-life idea that the heart emerged as a symbol for love in the now lava-covered city of Pompeii. It holds for true that brothels conveyed their business via heart-shaped symbols depicting female breasts and sexual organ. This symbol reached high popularity as a motif for tattoos during late antiquity and spread quickly with the heavy seafaring of the time. Since few wanted to declare the true meaning of the tattoo it was usually explained as a symbol of love.”
Quote via wikipedia.
One place I could certainly handle seeing the shape repeatedly would be at the Prieure Notre Dame d’ Orsan, an early 12th century monastery in Central France.  Wander on over to the website where you may take a virtual gaze at the gardens, enjoy a leisurely lunch of fresh ingredients from the orchards, organic gardens, and neighboring wine and cheese makers, followed by a restful sleep at the architectural beauty of a hotel, free of televisions and telephones.  Talk about a February 14th dream date!  What might you be doing for your dear?  I best get busy making banana pancakes for my love!

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