A many-splendored thing

I’ve been writing all weekend. And before that, all week, and before that, the Love Essays… and now, after a half an hour spent staring at this screen, I’m giving up on the idea that I might share something profound here (and by profound, I mean coherent.)

I’m turning to you instead. Inviting you to play with me – deeply or lightly, comically or dead serious, in one word or one hundred, poetic or plain or sweet or raw… fill in the blank (and feed my weary soul).

 

Love is ______________________.

 

Image from Kind Over Matter.

 

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51 Responses to A many-splendored thing

  1. Nuttin' June 18, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    Yes… that’s right, love is.

  2. Estrella Azul June 18, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    Thank you for the reminder. I wrote this about what love is last year before Valentine’s Day. I still think it rings true to me.

    Love is over-thinking for the millionth time what you want to say, rephrasing, cutting and pasting, editing until you’re out of rational thoughts – then not having to say any of it aloud because he/she can feel every single one of your unspoken words.

    • j June 18, 2012 at 7:19 am #

      This is lovely, Estrella. It sounds like the voice of experience. <3

  3. Jill Salahub June 18, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    Love is the answer to every question.
    Love is what dogs are made of.
    Love is what we are made of.
    Love is what trees, flowers, baby foxes, butterflies, heart-shaped rocks, water, sleep, laughter, cookies are made of.
    Love is what everything is made of.
    Love is.

    • j June 18, 2012 at 7:18 am #

      Your answer reminds me of the quote from Rumi I recently posted on AHT’s Facebook page:

      “It is Love that holds everything together, and it is the everything also.”

      • Jill Salahub June 18, 2012 at 7:20 am #

        Yes! I saw that too, am so in LOVE with it.

  4. Christa Gallopoulos June 18, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    Love is healing and being healed.

    • j June 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

      So true.

  5. Terri June 18, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    All of the above but/and I’ve also found it’s this: a decision.

  6. Rita June 18, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    …what makes the world go ’round xo

    • j June 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

      xo

  7. Marcie June 18, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    Love is how you choose to see and hear and live each brave new day.

    • j June 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

      It is if you’re doing it right! xo

  8. jb June 18, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    Love is everywhere.

    (Love the Rumi quote, too! Adding it to my favorites quotes list.)

    • j June 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

      I love it too. Rumi is a reliable source on love, I’ve found.

  9. Pam June 18, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Love is quite possibly the best thing about being.

    • j June 18, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Agreed. Even when it’s hard.

  10. Katie June 18, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Love is feeling supported, cherished, and secure. It’s sporting sweatpants and unwashed hair and still feeling beautiful. It’s catching a glance that contains an entire conversation. It’s silence that speaks loudest, and noise that never annoys. But most of all, love is comfort found with life itself.

    • j June 18, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      “It’s catching a glance that contains an entire conversation.” That is some sweet poetry, Katie. xo

      • Katie June 18, 2012 at 9:12 am #

        Thanks. That one comes from personal experience. A summer love, and I swear we could read each other’s minds. The romance didn’t last, but the friendship did. And I can still read his mind from one look. :)

        • Estrella Azul June 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

          Very similar to my thoughts, and how true. I also know that feeling – and it is what love is.

  11. vindanger June 18, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Love is fermented.

    • j June 18, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      And often comes with cheese.

  12. Julia June 18, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Love is getting close enough to see and listen even when you’re scared and it hurts, even when it’s hard and you’re tired and it feels like maybe things will never change.

    Love is stopping the thoughts that repeat the same stuck stories and returning to what’s right here.

    Love is this gush, this welling up inside, this feeling that can’t be boxed in words, but can be felt rising up and up until it comes out in big drops that fill & then overflow all over the place.

    Love is not needing to speak or write a word because I know you know just what I mean.

    Love is this feeling I have right now for you, tired J, this feeling of wanting to lean in real close and hold all that is tired in you. And let you do the same for me.

    Love.

    • j June 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      “…this feeling of wanting to lean in real close and hold all that is tired in you.” <-- You just did. Thank you, from a very mushy j. <3

  13. Robin June 18, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Love is the opposite of fear; love requires us to surrender, trust, and give freely, regardless of the outcome. Love is also the experience of Oneness (with Self, others, the universe).

    • j June 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

      I read somewhere – I think maybe it was Tara Sophia Mohr, but I’m not sure – that you cannot love and be in fear at the same time. I’m never sure whether or not I think that’s true, but I love the idea of it. I absolutely agree that love “requires us to surrender, trust, and give freely, regardless of the outcome.” Beautifully said.

  14. LunaJune June 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Love is ……………
    the breath in my day
    the song upon my lips
    the dance upon my feet
    the laughter from my belly
    the fire in my passion
    the caring in my compassion
    the air around me
    I have sooo much love in my life
    it’s not funny…
    it’s weird I get all worked up sometimes about not finding
    the ‘one’ and feel bummed out about it….when I remember how much other love I do have… and it flows in rivers all I need to is allow it in to feed me in those moments

    thanks for the reminder today ♫ ♥

    • j June 18, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

      YES! That’s just what I’m talking about in the AHT email I finally sent out. Sometimes we miss all that’s right here for us, because we’re too busy focused on what we don’t have and aren’t getting. (At least I don’t think it’s just me.)

      June, you have to check Zebra Sounds on Thursday. You will love the interview with Bentlily and at the end of it, she asks all of you a question. I can’t wait to see how you answer! xo

  15. Nuttin' June 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Without sounding morbid but trying to get to the thing…
    love is, I think, what brings people back from the brink. I think it’s what makes us believe in each other. I think it’s the reason we never settle for “this is good enough”. I think it’s why we DO keep trying… not insanity. Love knows we WILL get a different result if we come from a place of love.
    I think it’s the reason someone who wants to quit living (I mean literally), doesn’t.
    I think it’s the all of everything.

  16. Meg June 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Love is a mystery.

    • j June 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

      But a sweet one.

  17. Chris Edgar June 19, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    Love is the feeling I get when I’ve been able to tell a person honestly what’s going on for me, and I know that it’s been received.

    • j June 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

      Yesyesyesyes. I did that just this morning and it was like crawling out from under a crushing weight… and then being held until I stopped hurting. LOVE.

  18. Casoly June 19, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    Being comfortable in the silent spaces, not because you aren’t paying attention but because you are. xo

    • j June 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      That’s lovely, C. That’s how I feel sometimes (the best times) on the trail. xox

  19. Debra June 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Love is opportunity.
    Opportunity to connect, to create, to challange, to chill, to be, to feel, to learn, to expand, to grow, to accept, to practice, to give & receive, to be a better human being.
    I could go on forever talking about the opportunity love has given me. How little it asks for in return other than “just be”.

    • j June 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

      Wow! It is the opportunity for all of that… if only we could believe in our ability to choose it. Love your response!

  20. Annie Neugebauer June 19, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Love is worth it.

    • j June 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      Always.

  21. Kellie Walker June 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Love is… an Alanis Morissette song. This one:

    I’ll give you countless amounts of outright acceptance if you want it
    I will give you encouragement to choose the path that you want if you need it
    You can speak of anger and doubts your fears and freak outs and I’ll hold it
    You can share your so-called shame filled accounts of times in your life and I won’t judge it
    (and there are no strings attached to it)

    You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
    You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
    I give you thanks for receiving it’s my privilege
    And you owe me nothing in return

    You can ask for space for yourself and only yourself and I’ll grant it
    You can ask for freedom as well or time to travel and you’ll have it
    You can ask to live by yourself or love someone else and I’ll support it
    You can ask for anything you want anything at all and I’ll understand it
    (and there are no strings attached to it)

    You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
    You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
    I give you thanks for receiving it’s my privilege
    And you owe me nothing in return

    I bet you’re wondering when the next payback shoe will eventually drop
    I bet you’re wondering when my conditional police will force you to cough up
    I bet you wonder how far you have now danced you way back into debt
    This is the only kind of love as I understand it that there really is

    You can express your deepest of truths even if it means I’ll lose you and I’ll hear it
    You can fall into the abyss on your way to your bliss I’ll empathize with
    You can say that you have to skip town to chase your passion and I’ll hear it
    You can even hit rock bottom have a mid-life crisis and I’ll hold it
    (and there are no strings attached)

    You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
    You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
    I give you thanks for receiving it’s my privilege
    And you owe me nothing in return

    OK. So, that’s how I like to *think* love is. And, sometimes it is. But, just as often, if not more frequently, love is (or feels like) the opposite of all that.

    In my house, love is:

    letting you have the last bit of ice cream.
    letting you pick what we’re watching tonight.
    letting you sleep in while I let the dogs out.
    letting you tell me the same story again and again and again.
    telling you I don’t want to but will ’cause it’ll make you happy.
    laughing so hard I make squeaking whistling noises when no one else would understand why you’re so funny.

    • j June 20, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      1. I love the Alanis Morissette contribution.
      2. I love your “this is how love looks in the real world” contribution even more.

  22. Michael June 20, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    The first thought that came to mind was, “whatever gets you up in the morning.” I was thinking that it’d better be love if it draws me out the cocoon of safety amd intimacy that I consider my bed to be.

    And then I thought, “but we actually get up, some days, to do some pretty lame things.” It was that realization – that I was getting out of bed for all the wrong reasons – that prompted my life inversion thing a few years ago. I remembered that I changed everything, gave up mostly every ‘thing’ I had, to be in a position to claim that (mostly) I never get out of bed to do something that I don’t love.

    But if that concept – that we get out of bed for the things we love -applies across the board, what does it say about those things that we wake up for that we also hate? Or that do nothing healthy for us? I’m thinking about the ‘bigger/better/faster/more gerbil wheel that we call modern, western civilization here.

    I guess I’m arguing that my first thought still applies; whether we want to admit it or not, we get out of bed for the things that we love. For me, it makes me pause every once and a while to make sure that I’m getting up for the right reasons.

    As always, amazing J.

    • j June 20, 2012 at 11:48 am #

      I think you’re right about which stuff is actually getting us out of bed! And to the extent that sometimes we have to do stuff we don’t love (submit our work to editors, for instance)so that we’re able to do stuff we do love (get read by more than ourselves), then maybe a lot of what we get out of bed for is love… just, you know… once removed.

      Right back at you, M.

  23. joanne firth June 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    Love is feeling that you are worth being loved.

    • j June 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      It is the greatest act of self-love I think, to believe/trust fully in your own worth.

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