Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love is All




If I were to pick one word from the vast lexicon we know as the English language, if I could choose one idea I hold in the greatest esteem, if the whole language were to be boiled down to the most powerful word I know, that word would be love.

In taking a look at the definition, the tradition and the boundaries of love, I found that all explanations are inadequate. I once pushed a moving car, a vehicle in which a man had his foot on the accelerator in reverse, yet I managed to shove it forward. Why? How? The man would have hit my three year old son whom he did not see. I told my children that I thought I knew all about love; I thought I knew the size, the scope and the borders of the territory, until I had them and discovered the maternal dimension.

From as far back as I can remember, I have believed in love. The hymn we used to sing at church as children, “Jesus loves me,” always carried a ring of truth. I knew of it in my home. I knew my Gramma loved me without question. I knew it from my dog as well. There was always a certainty.

As my dreamy childhood turned into the teen years, I poured over love comics and plotted and schemed as to how to stow away on a ship bound for Liverpool. I imagined that once I arrived on Paul McCartney's doorstep, he would take it from there. I had perhaps what can safely be described as the worst crush in the history of the world. My parent's feared for me. To this end, my mother sent me off to a girl's school, a strict establishment where I would wear a uniform, a tie, have order and discipline hammered into my head and be forbidden from wearing make-up. Veterans of Catholic schools know of what I speak, but this establishment had been drawn up on the English and Anglican model. Through my years there, marked by rebellion and me failing to distinguish myself, I found one beautiful form of escape. A movie theater near the school played Romeo and Juliet for years and years. When out of the clutches of my school, usually due to a forged note, and a ficticous dental appointment, I would hop the bus, buy a ticket, take a seat in the darkened theater. I would  live in Shakespeare's words and in Franco Zeffirelli's beautiful Verona.  If called upon, I daresay, I could recite whole passages from this masterpiece.

While I managed not to die for love, I had my ups and downs, until the fortuitous day when I walked into a ski lodge, in the town of Aspen, Colorado, and met my future husband. What an impossible and unlikely match it was too. I was from a different country, had a fledgling career in real estate, and yet I managed to throw it all away for a surfer from Southern California who had dropped out of college and was living as a ski bum at the time. He had virtually nothing to his name, and no immediate plans. Somehow we managed to find a way to be together and then marry. Thirty four years later, I still give thanks for my fate and for the day I walked into that lodge. Yes, I believe in love. For all the sorry, miserable failings of the human race, for all of our inhumanity to others, and all the suffering that exists in the world, we do have this one quality that we can point to with pride, as the very best part of us of all. It is love: resplendent, glorious, complete, immortal and ethereal love. What else do we really need?

Google has a great bordered statement regarding Valentine's Day, as it is the most oft' searched word. People ask this question: What day does it fall on? Lists of great films, great books, and great gift ideas are everywhere, but all pressure aside, what people seek is to love and be loved. While we drape ourselves in red, look for some way to celebrate the day, with chocolates and flowers, I, for one, bask in the simple words, "I love you." Happy Valentine's Day on the 14th.


9 comments:

Unknown said...

It was wonderful to read this first thing this morning. I now feel like spreading lots of love around today!

Elizabeth S. Brinton said...

Thank you. Let's hope for a chain reaction around the world!

Nancy Owens Barnes said...

Love-ly. Thanks Liz.

Anonymous said...

Well put and your words are true. Thank you for sharing this today.

Shauna said...

Wonderfully said. Going to pass this on to those I love! Thanks Liz. Happy Valentine's Day!!

Laura said...

Oh, how I loved that movie!! Thank you for your words.

Elizabeth S. Brinton said...

Thank you so much. 'Love, love, doth so.'

Mary said...

I too loved that movie, and listened to the soundtrack every night. You must have heard it too Liz sleeping in the next room...I recently purchased it again. At least I can dream of this kind of love. Wonderful piece,thank you

Elizabeth S. Brinton said...

I am ordering the sound track tonight!