I cannot remember a time when we needed Valentine’s Day more in this winter of our discontent. I am not going to give you a litany about the history of the day beginning with St. Valentine, etc., but what I am intending, is to have you think a little about love. Yes, LOVE. There are myriad definitions for this oft quoted, oft misunderstood word.
Is it unconditional?Is it romantic? Is it enduring? Is it star-crossed? Is it unattainable? Is it realistic? Is it sexual? Is it spiritual? Is it irrelevant? If it is unrequited then does it exist at all?
I would say a resounding “YES” to all these questions. Like life is the doing of it; LOVE is the giving of it. It’s sorta messy like family and my laundry room. There is some dirty and clean…yet eventually everything comes out in the wash. We really don’t get love or own love or broker love. It isn’t only physical or even emotional. LOVE is something that makes us better humans, kinder people, generous neighbors and even regular forgivers. Like water the tighter your grip on it the less you have of it. But enough of metaphors!
Then what is LOVE, really? The all capitals version of this thing every person at one time or another craves, even if unconsciously. I learned Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s concept of love when I reluctantly read The Brothers Karamazov in High School. Fyodor offered his definition as a negative—so typical of Dostoyevsky,
What is hell?
I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
Then there are those who characterize love as to whom the LOVE is directed, like famous mystery author Agatha Christie,
It is a curious thought,
but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous
that you realize just how much you love them.
But as for me, I think I favor Honore’ de Balzac’s theory about love the most. He reckons with the throes of LOVE quite often in his writings and contends that LOVE is more about how you practice it then how you feel it.
The more one judges, the less one loves.
In the end, I think LOVE is why we are here—it IS the meaning of life. I wish for you my dear readers, to give it and to feel it this Valentine’s Day!
(Quotes courtesy of: https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/01/01/what-is-love/ and image courtesy of Google Images)