This month, the #1000 Voices for Compassion has an optional theme prompt of love. It shouldn’t be difficult to write about love, should it?
But it is. For me. I love lots of things: people, places, experiences, stuff… And therein lies the problem. Such an all encompassing word, that I attach to so much it devalues it.
What we need is an Eskimo approach: you know, they are meant to have 200 words, or some such, for every version of frozen water. Slice and dice it and then we will have, in amongst the likes and enjoys and lusts a real meaning for it.
What I need to do here is reverse engineer this. I’m not looking at it the right way round. It’s not what love means for me but what do I want it to mean. How do I want to define it? Limit it.
It is easy to look at those intense first moments when you fall for someone as being the most visceral expression of love. True love. Pure love. It’s breathless, heart racing, painful, glorious, exhausting. Part is the novelty, part is the fear – of giving of yourself, of the downside, of losing it. You have to take a lot on trust.
And sure that was fun and I have happy memories. But I don’t forget the gnawing uncertainties that accompanied those passionate moments.
No this for me isn’t where love is best expressed. It’s expressed in the long term, the build up of trust, the quiet everyday. The shared look, the unspoken understandings that come with time. It finds itself in longuers that need no conversation. If one has an instinctive, a forgiving compassion for another, it’s likely to come from a shared view. That to me is where love, pure and uncomplicated resides.
This love is not strident, it is not loud or indeed passionate. It can be experienced in boredom as much as joy. It’s pleasure is in just being.
It runs deep, but it is never still. It surges like a tide but never breaks like a wave.
If you are lucky enough to grow into this with another, then you are to be envied.