I think that the word "Love" is over used these days. We love our iPads. We love our cars. We love this show or that movie or the latest fad. We confuse lust for love and fall out of love as easily as we fall in. We throw around the word so much that "Love" itself has lost all meaning.
But Love, True Love, is more than just like. It is more than the muffin you're eating. And it is far more than the guy or girl you met at the bar five minutes ago.
Love is devotion. Love is sacrifice. Love is the muse that inspires every poet and artist. Love lifts you out of the dreary, bleak, workaday world and touches your soul. Love is everything. To settle for less is an affront to Love.
And Love, in this world with all its cares and concerns, is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it.
But I still believe in Love. I believe in True Love which sets the soul afire in that moment when first it meets the one person in all the world who is its perfect match, soul mate. I believe in Courtly Love which is kind and gentle and courteous to its beloved, not out of obligation or social convention but out of the joy that comes from being near and doing things for the beloved. I believe that Love should be everything, everything heroic and sacrificial and good. Everything that makes you better for being loved and loving.
So even though we live in an imperfect world, a common, dreary, workaday world that tries so hard to make everything around it as dull and dreary and common as it is, let us continue to dream, as the poets dreamed, of Love that is so much more. For even if such Love is only a dream we are all so much better for having dreamed it.
So choose to believe in Love, True Love, Courtly Love, Love that is everything. And do not settle for less. For you deserve no less a Love than that which means everything and gives everything and to which you can give everything in return.
Now, as I myself have never been in Love, though I wait and hope to find it one day, I leave you with the words of the poet.
Doubt thou, the Stars are fire,
Doubt, that the Sun doth move:
Doubt Truth to be a Liar,
But never Doubt, I love.-- William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2
Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove: O no! It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending compass come: Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me be proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. -- William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116
It is true what you say but the English language is limited as it only has the one word, "love" to use for all the variations of the types of love there are in this world. French is far more sensitive to this and has many different words to express the various types of love that exist. It's a far richer language in that respect. The only other word we can use instead of love is the word "like" and that has less impact. I like you but I don'tlove you. Or, I love you but I don't like you. Both statements can be true.
What is true love? And how would you know it if you found it? Idealized love? Romantic love? Lustful love? Platonic love is said to be the truest form of love as it was originally explained. Each person born is only half a self, to put it simply, and their other half is living in someone else at the time of their birth. Only when these two people meet to complete each other will they find true love, according to Plato. This is a very condensed version of the concept. It could also be called finding your soul mate.
But yes, I agree with you and believe in love and forever keep a hopeful eye out for it. Not desperately looking or waiting for it. And I think as we grow older our concept and what it means for us changes. I have known great love in my past. That love can never be replaced or achieved again. I consider myself blesses. But I know that if I have loved once, I am able to love again. It has been a very long time since I have loved and been loved, and maybe it shall never come my way again, but hope springs eternal.
But I ask you once again, would you know love if it came your way?
D.H. Lawrence recites his poem, "The Mess of Love"
Cheryl, you don't have to "look" for love -- it's always right there, just right there in front of you. don't complicate it. nor does "love" necessarily need defining save for the gifted beauty in the contemplated wordings. and Bobbi J. -- what beautiiful thoughts toward the undefinable! thanks for the post (brought me tears, it did!) reminds me of the old, lost romantic me..... (alas and woe). now, i stop looking, and there it always is. always someone needs love as much as i do, and that gracious gift to another can be delivered and recieved via the simplest of means -- even just a smile, a kindly word, a gesture, a touch... and then all freely flows again -- if naught else but through the memory of such holy ground -- as once might have been, and yet truly remains in all beings... perfection.
hmmmm... D.H. Lawrence has some interesting angles Glenn. i think he is saying that words get in the way. and that love is one coin with two sides. to know one face, you must equally embrace its other. for all of everything comprises the essence of being human. to love you, i must also know your counter opposite "sides," and yet remain true to who you are -- in that whole, that entirety. right?
"Quel est lamour veritable? Celui qui aime et ne parle pas"
What is true love? That which loves and does not speak
One of my favorite Lawrence poems, A Short History of Love. Re-reading the Complete Works and finding my undergraduate and graduate school comments immature and childish. The person reading these poems is so different than that person there and then.
A Short History of Love
After the sweet red wine and the dry lecture,
“The History of Love in Western Imagination”
(history is loveless without imagination)
we could not abide another listless lecture
and so we slipped into the castle library
and pushed highbacked chairs against a door
that refused to lock (so jam the door!)
and knelt to each other in the library.
I confess my fear of patrolling watchmen;
you seemed courageous and sure, as always:
I have learned to adore your myriad ways
of taking us back into man and woman . . .
And when we lay naked among the books,
the bookshelves enclosed a sacred garden
for Adam and Eve safely restored to Eden,
ourselves immersed in a paradise of books.
Never Again No More
His words tempted her in to look
Temptuous and revealing
Their intensity rife with storm
She found herself drifting about in them
He found her and looking at her vessel for a moment felt sure
He could toss these words about like seaweed
They would ball up upon crests
And fly apart like schools of fish as a predator threatened to eat them
They floated above the murky page on ink black seas of hope
They blew upon shore after shore
Finding no earth on which to root
Yet still he cast them like nets into the sea for one true hope
And he wondered
If they were to root
Would they cease… perhaps.
Or would they birth new seeds to float upon oceans of…. What
No don’t talk to me of these things
Does a fish love the sea or merely swim in it
Does a gazelle love the grass more than the belly of the lion
In finding his end, does he feel more comfort than that which makes him run
No don’t talk to me of this
His words tempted him
He wrote them and he swore
Never again to write them
Never again no more
Thank you so much, Johanna! What you said was so encouraging. I tend to be my own worst critic, doubting the moment I finish anything whether it was worth the time to write in the first place. But I am trying, at least on this site, to write without giving myself the time to over think--- and above all to stay away from the delete button!
So thank you to everyone who responded! I never really expected that anyone would and I've so much enjoyed reading everyone's replies.
To answer Cheryl's question, I think I am very much a Romantic. And I do believe in the romantic ideal of love. So I believe that everyone has a soul mate and that it is impossible to meet that person without a part of you knowing at once that they are the one.
On the other hand, life happens. And we all of us have private scars and traumas in our lives that can make it more difficult to see, or perhaps more importantly to trust love when it is right in front of us.
Not trusting love more than not recognizing it, is I think the greatest tragedy of life. Love, itself, is easy; Trust takes time.
But thank you again everyone for your thoughts and poems, I have really enjoyed them! --BobbieJ
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”-- William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”-- J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
now... (what were we talking about again..?)
So many words lead to so many different branchings... thus therein leading to potential confusion and misunderstandings -- and little knowing of whom we are, or whom nears us -- in this maddening thing called "love."
Now I know, oh Mishi friend... "less is more," he told to me. For my buffet has come of every table everywhere and i am sated to excess, too much i'm filled, so all to grasp (for me, it's sadly true) to seal my lips in what I know and never speak it thus...
"never again no more."
:) :( :0 :D :(
Few are the worlds that so exhilarate and devastate a man so completely as the fullness of love unrequited. Unrepentant love that at once demands both hope and fear then feasts upon him. He willingly offers his flesh for just one more taste of the purity of the moment when one woman has loved him completely, even if for a moment. No matter if it is fate that spirited her away on a train, a boat, a plane or even in the arms of another. For having tasted its purity for but that moment, that man so afflicted will not be able to deny its existence, and for it he will clamor across continents leaving all he has known just to catch a glimpse of she who laid this gift within his soul.
Where then my benevolent creature shall I lay my kiss upon you? Should it be as before, in unlit places known only to us, or perhaps in the public square for all to see? And should their eyes fall upon us could they know the heavenly bliss of your lips? Could those moments sought bring to me comfort or would it be that the nourishment I seek would instead befall upon me an appetite even more ravenous than the first? Oh sweet maiden unfold thy hand upon my face so that in those moments I again may feel alive as once before. Let the treasure of your loins grace this beast and restore the subtle nuance of happiness. Oh yes let it be lest I squander these breaths I take.
ooooohhh my, Mr. Blades! Words as those writ will make even the middle-aged and silver-haired little ol' ladies hearts go naked-dancing to a beat of pitter-patter within thier drooping, throbbing bosoms!
Where does one land that kind of passion? -- and isn't it mostly short-lived? amid the foolish and the youth? and then after the mighty fires die, the lovers part in boredom and perhaps go looking elsewhere to re-kindle those kinds of "addictive" fiery flames of feeling agian? falling head-long into the "instant gratification" traps -- with another new lover perhaps?
Actually friend, real "true love" shows its face in witness of the elderly -- the Endurers! -- they whom "roll up thier sleeves" and faced the "hard work" of marriage, whom keep their vows, whom struggle through hardship, whom endure the thick and thin and soft and harsh of relationship. working as a "beginning nurse" showed me the "end of the road" -- where romance really, truly blossomed. Umpteen years married -- 50, 60 plus and more -- and then The Vow offers its real test. Life makes its hairy curve -- people land in nursing facilities and such -- but there are those cases where the spouse visits thier loved one faithfully, every day, spoon-feeding them or bathing or visiting or talking to the loved one locked within their own imprisoning body (after a stroke or some other horryifying physical disease that overtook most all of whom they once were). But Rusty -- those faces! Those eyes peering deeply into its other one loved -- there... no words. no words. "That which loves and does not speak."
such love as that cannot be easily neared.
but don't let me spoil the "idea" of such romantic "entrant" love for the young!
i would just offer one soul to "taste my lot-of-old" someday... until then, I'll sing these old songs until the one day when again I die, because for me, back then, never was i so blessed to be surrounded by so much truth.
Bobbie J... Never stop believing, but I challenge any of you excellent writers (whom want to write on the subject of true love) -- gather your inspiration by witness first -- spend a day at a facility and watch the one still married. Participate in helping and there will come definitionin-doses of "true love" more than can be handled.
"What more blessed than such kiss of knowing grok vouchsafed unto the holy heart as from Music's very own."
Beautiful beginnings. The lovely memory such tender kiss partook. Rusty, Gatzby, Glenn, Cheryl, Bobbie L.... thank you for the Music.
(I swoon, i swoon!)
uhm like totally wow