From Bees to Brain Waves for Aliens: Unconventional Love Letters

{Welcome to MultiMEDIA Splice #11, a link party. Join me by linking up a “love”-themed post or a multimedia post on any topic.}

“Only a crazy man would write a love letter that takes eight years to arrive.”
–Harry Joy, “Bliss”

Voyager 1 distance from Earth 2015-02-07 at 9.14.53 AM

Distance as of Feb. 7, 2015 (Source: NASA )

A probe traveling 19 trillion kilometers from Earth contains an unconventional love letter recorded long ago. In the 1970s Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan worked together to compile sounds, photographs, and greetings from Earth on the Golden Record, which was rocketed into space aboard the Voyager 1. While working together, Sagan and Druyan fell in love. For one of the artifacts, Druyan volunteered her own brain waves be recorded, and during the recording she focused on her love for Sagan.

“My feelings as a 27 year old woman, madly fallen in love, they’re on that record,” says Druyan (Source: NASA). “It’s forever. It’ll be true 100 million years from now. For me Voyager is a kind of joy so powerful, it robs you of your fear of death.”

My husband tells his science students this story every Valentine’s Day. Somewhere, sometime, in a galaxy far, far away, will an alien life form decipher Druyan’s feelings long after we’ve all left this mortal coil? As heady as that is to think about, I also think of my husband’s students hearing this story in a sleepy first period classroom and carrying it silently with them until they meet the person who ignites such devotion inside of them.

The Sounds of Earth Record Cover - GPN-2000-001978

The Sounds of Earth Record Cover (Public Domain)

Golden Record

Another unconventional love letter comes from a movie seen long ago. (Spoiler alert) In Bliss (1985), a man loved a beekeeper, but as so often happens in the movies and in life, the man messed up and lost the woman. He set out to get her back by planting a particularly special tree that blossomed in April, a bad time for honey at her home; he cared for the special trees for eight years until they were ready. When the woman tasted the honey her bees made from these trees, she knew it was something special, a love letter that took eight years to send.

The scene from the movie (spoiler alert! It’s the end of the movie.)

 (Video link)

Honeybee

This unusual way to express love comes from writer Jen Brunett: “My polish heritage celebrates Dyngus Day, which is the day after Easter. To share expressions of love and fertility the guys would drench pussy willows with water and chase after the girls switching them and soaking them. In turn, the girls threw dishes at them. Now it’s just a big party in Buffalo (and other places), but the willow whacking still continues. All for love.”

Pussy willow

Romance also comes in a recipe for stewed carrots. The recipe-maker’s meat-loving brother fell in love with a vegetarian. With barbecued stewed carrots standing in respectably for pulled pork, among other recipes, the man was able to woo the woman.

Carrots

From writer Nathan James comes this delicious play on words from one of his favorite films: “In Stranger Than Fiction, Will Ferrell’s character presents Maggie Gyllenhaal’s bakery-owning character with a bouquet of flours (not flowers).”

 (Video link)

Bouquet of floursFinally, from Germany, small villages still carry on a tradition that goes back hundreds of years. At the end of April, men march into the forest to cut down birch trees for the women who strike their fancies. A woman who wakes up on May 1 with a decorated birch tree under her window knows that she has a suitor. (h/t DW.de)

 

May tree

Long ago, I worked at a bank with a man as shy as I am. We developed a friendship over a summer of never-ending conversations. Our feelings crept toward something more, but neither of us could say it. He finally handed me a mixtape of love songs that could say what he couldn’t. So as we approach our 25th wedding anniversary, maybe that’s why I have a soft spot for unconventional love letters. (I wrote more about it here: Love in a Mixtape.}

Mixtape

What’s your special story of love? Please share it in the comments or by linking up a post.

Love in a Mixtape strip

MultiMEDIA Splice #11

  • Bloggers: Welcome to the 11th week of MultiMEDIA Splice. Join me by linking up a “love”-themed post or a multimedia post on any topic. Extra credit for a love-themed multimedia post.
  • Next week’s theme: Parade (in time for Mardi Gras)

How to link up:

MultiMEDIA Splice #11
  • Copy the above code and paste it into the text view of your post.
  • Then link up your post by clicking “Add your link” below. (Link up every Sunday.)
  • One more thing: Please don’t link and run! Try to visit and comment on a few posts that link up.


About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
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7 Responses to From Bees to Brain Waves for Aliens: Unconventional Love Letters

  1. Abby says:

    Well, how fun was this? Perfect for the theme! I was unaware of all of these stories – even the Carl Sagan one – how clueless of me. Except I do recall reading about that last one 🙂

  2. Carol Apple says:

    I “love” this post because I love unconventional love stories and plus I got a couple of new movies to add to my “To Watch” list. I am half Polish but have never heard of Dyngus Day and its interesting festivities. However, every time I get into a Heritage mood and start looking into Polish traditions I find them totally weird and give up the idea. However, Dyngus Day has its possibilities…. Love your mixed tape story. Both cool and sweet.
    Carol Apple recently posted..Book Review: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel BarberyMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Thanks, Carol. I hadn’t heard of Dyngus Day either. I just re-watched Stranger than Fiction after seeing it a long time ago, and I really liked it.

  3. TriGirl says:

    Wow! There are some very strange and interesting ways to display affection out there. But I have to say that the mixtape is the one that I can relate to the best 🙂 Happy anniversary!
    TriGirl recently posted..I’m Learning to Handle My Bike and it’s Not PrettyMy Profile

  4. Pingback: Year in Review 2015: Just When I Thought I Was Out | (Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish

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