Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Love - a word far too short....

A lot of discussions around here about Love - what it is, what it means, how it's expressed. Who it happens to, the differences in depth and commitment. How we fall into it or even out of it and all the ramifications each of those entails. Obviously a topic that has been discussed throughout the ages with no definitive answers beyond that it's highly subject to the people involved and won't be the same exact thing for anyone else.

Some can love many without sacrificing one, some can only give their heart to one to the exclusion of all others. Not so much a "right vs wrong" issue, simply a different way to express what they feel and what that represents to them. Each has the potential to feel that they are missing out on something the other has but also the ability to recognize that they possess something the other can't have - hopefully they can each appreciate that fully and live it well.

Talking about how Chris and I met, how we've developed and formed our bonds, how no one who knew us would have ever considered this would be a lasting thing has given me time to reflect on exactly what we mean to each other. The respect for one another's differences that has kept it interesting without ever leading to arguments is probably the strongest part of our relationship. The deep friendship that underlies it all so that we each know the the support of the other is there no matter what we choose to do (and I'm certain my random ideas have pushed that to limits I never would have predicted).

To know that we risk great hurts and go for it in spite of rather than holding back because of what "might" happen, to understand that that potential exists and take the plunge anyway isn't something that everyone can do. Probably expected for many who timidly drift through life, but occasionally we can get surprised by one who embraces everything with a boundless energy and enthusiasm that infects all around him, yet hesitates here in this one realm. A fierce hug, then a firm hand to the back and a whispered reminder to count to ten before pulling the ripcord.

Not just the romantic connections, but the family we've created and how it all inter-relates. The lack of competition, the genuine desire for all to have the best for each of the others. The feeling of coming and being at home.

Evan and I were in Big Lot's yesterday and laughing about how quickly the latest big retailer sponsored holiday was being pushed in the door as the Christmas one was already packed up and forgotten. Sadly, we were poking through the Valentine's offerings. Some were funny - like the hard plastic bra that looked like it would so comfortably inspire romance - the 9' banner of X's and O's to be hung across the ceiling. Some had potential to be fun - like the dice that said what to do and where to do it - not really spontaneous enough for me, but I can see that some would enjoy the game.

But the saddest ones were things like the deck of playing cards with questions on the back designed to get you talking with your partner - not even deep subjects that two people might not talk about in the course of day to day, but simple things that wouldn't take long to discover if one was truly interested in the other. Our first reaction was "what a shame" but it was quickly overtaken by the broader "what a shame that there are so many people missing out that there's a market for this". I just don't get people not embracing life, living it as though it might be their last day.

This past year has been our best so far for so many reasons, not the least of which has been the people in our lives and love between all. I guess my new year's wish for everyone would be that they have a season of loving, of creating the relationships that bring out the best in others as well as themselves. Of living, while still alive.

As for love, I think Margaret Atwood may have said it best in here simple, but straight to the point manner:


Variations on the Word Love

This is a word we use to plug
holes with. It's the right size for those warm
blanks in speech, for those red heart-
shaped vacancies on the page that look nothing
like real hearts. Add lace
and you can sell
it. We insert it also in the one empty
space on the printed form
that comes with no instructions. There are whole
magazines with not much in them
but the word love, you can
rub it all over your body and you
can cook with it too. How do we know
it isn't what goes on at the cool
debaucheries of slugs under damp
pieces of cardboard? As for the weed-
seedlings nosing their tough snouts up
among the lettuces, they shout it.
Love! Love! sing the soldiers, raising
their glittering knives in salute.

Then there's the two
of us. This word
is far too short for us, it has only
four letters, too sparse
to fill those deep bare
vacuums between the stars
that press on us with their deafness.
It's not love we don't wish
to fall into, but that fear.
this word is not enough but it will
have to do. It's a single
vowel in this metallic
silence, a mouth that says
O again and again in wonder
and pain, a breath, a finger
grip on a cliffside. You can
hold on or let go.

Margaret Atwood


Don't let the process of living rob you of life or the fear of loving steal what should be the best parts.

1 comment:

Auburn haired artist said...

Love is the reason for birth, death, and everything that happens in between. It s the only thing that is universal. Yet, somehow, it never grows old, and it never fails to surprise us.