Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What Is Love?

I wanted to write something very profound about love. I wanted to write something about love that would make people rethink what they've been told about love. But, as I sit here and pontificate, I find I'm just frustrated by the subject. I mean, what does it mean to love? Really love? In the movies, I see two people who fall madly in love with each other and wonder why that never happens to me. The guy, of whom I am insanely jealous, and a gorgeous woman are drawn to each other to live happily ever after. Sure, they have some troubles along the way. The guy says something stupid, or he thinks he sees her going for someone else. But in the end, it's usually a misunderstanding that gets cleared up and the rest is smooth sailing.

Maybe love is like the Force from Star Wars. It's something you're born with. You don't get to choose whether you get it or not, it chooses you. Once you discover you have it, the world obeys your every command. If you didn't get it, then you're sorry, out-of-luck.

Maybe love is like money. If you're smart, you find ways to earn it and save it. Some people are naturals, but those who aren't can learn. If you work hard enough, you'll make it. With exception to those who just don't get it, or who are completely irresponsible and just throw it away.

What if love isn't romantic? That's often how I think of it. Does that mean there are different kinds of love? Or is romance something I have with a person I love? As a romantic, the very thought of romance being something I choose feels sacrilegious. Romance is supposed to be mysterious. Two people who are connecting with each other with an intimate unspoken language. If I choose it, I've robbed it of its magic.

In Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye asks his wife, "Do you love me?"

"Do I love you?"

"Do you love me?" he asks again. She goes on to list all of the things she does for him. Cooking dinner, washing clothes, cleaned house, raising children and milked cows. "But do you love me?" he asks.

She searches her heart to find she does love him. And he loves her.

What if love isn't an emotion, even though I have feelings about people I love? What if love is shown more in how we choose to treat each other, what we do for each other than in the words we use? What if real love costs more than money? What if real love costs part of the soul? What if the ultimate cost of love is one's life?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well thought through and well written, Phil. And I think you nailed. I've thought much about love myself recently. The notion that you can fall out of love fits in with the Hollywood romance notions. But love can be quenched, squelched and smashed. And therein the soul, that chunk given, is shattered. Love ain't all she's cracked up to be -- lot of hard work, but great rewards.
I'll ramble no longer,