Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Slide down beside and wrap you in stories/Tailored entirely for you/I'll remind you/We exchanged a vow/I love you I always will

A few weeks ago, a friend posted a note on Facebook about her feelings on the nature of love. I disagreed vehemently with some of her points and I knew that I needed to contemplate why and write my own thoughts down. She believes that you cannot call anything 'love' that hasn't been honed for years, and that is where we part ways.

I certainly do not disagree that a love grown over years, with all the attendant good times and bad, tragedies and triumphs, excitements and the everyday humdrums, is a very special love. Special and important and probably even necessary. A long-term love is the blanket you wrap around yourself. It's comfort and security, intimate understanding and, if you are lucky (and I am) excitement and passion. But I don't believe that it's the only kind of love that counts, that is important, that infiltrates your heart, that makes your life richer and better. To deny any other kind of love than that carefully honed long-term stuff is cheating yourself out of a lot of excitement, happiness and, yeah, sometimes heartbreak.

I suppose this makes me sound a bit like a love junkie and I can't deny that accusation. I relish love in its many forms. While I may fall in love quickly and simultaneously, sometimes fleetingly, I do not fall indiscriminately. But I have never cut myself off from those feelings, because no matter if they last a week, eight months or 20 years, they are real, they count and they matter. Every experience is a learning experience, though I will freely admit that not every one ends happily. With every love I have learned something about myself and a myriad of things about human nature. Have I gotten hurt? Oh gosh, yes. I've cried a river of tears. Have I hurt others? I'm certain. But would I trade those experiences for an intact heart? Never. You know the saying: Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

What is love? Can it be defined? Should it be defined? I would argue that it doesn't need definition. Love just is. I'm satisfied with the "I know it when I feel it" explanation. I feel it in my heart; it beats faster. My stomach has butterflies. My mind wanders. All of these the symptoms of the glorious rustlings of a new love. Love, with a capital L, is whatever it means to you. Your own personal definition is all that matters, and if it takes years for someone to earn your love, then I suppose that's how you must live your life. I just believe it doesn't need to be that complicated or that tortured.

I can't imagine fighting love. So many people withhold giving their love, as if they have a finite amount in their heart and must dole it out in tiny, miserly portions. Why should saying the simple, magical words "I love you" cause so much distress, so much agita? In thinking back, I'm fairly sure I have always been the first to utter the phrase in my relationships and a long time ago I made myself a promise to be pure when I told someone I loved them. By that I mean that I would say the words simply because I felt them and wanted my feelings to be known, not because I wanted to hear the words echoed back to me. I have been happily lucky (or one could say I've chosen my recipients well) that love has been returned to me. It seems so elementary to me that sometimes I have a difficult time understanding how one could do anything else. You feel it, you say it. Simple. There are no negative repercussions. And so what if someone doesn't say it back right away, or at all. Does it change your feelings? (Now I can't deny here that if your feelings are not returned, love might perhaps diminish eventually. But it doesn't mean you didn't feel it initially. It doesn't mean it never existed.)

Who can deny that the world takes on a more sparkly sheen when a fresh love is bubbling through the veins; that nuisances and annoyances can be shrugged off easier; that life viewed through the proverbial rose-colored glasses is just better? Loving is fantastic; being loved is extraordinary. If there is a connection, follow it through on its logical, or illogical, path. You may be surprised at the joy and sheer goodness you can invite into your life. Can you ever have too much love? It seems absurd to even posit that theory because my answer is a resounding "No."

Whew. Now that I got that out of my system, what else has been going on? I haven't managed to take photos of much that I've cooked lately, except this pate. By nature of its main ingredient, pate is never pretty. So get over it and eat it already.

I've been taking a lot of photos at work with my mobile. I rather love the quality I get from that little camera. It amazes me, actually, that it takes such nice, close up photos. These hen and chicks were so beautiful that I had to photograph them. And today when I saw only one pot was left, I had to buy that beauty for myself.

We received gorgeous ageratum yesterday, and a new batch of lovely caladiums, plants I've long loved.

The greenhouse looked really nice the other day so I captured a photo of it.

I think it's the presence of hostas that make me so happy (again). I was feeling a little stressed at work today and I went to the hosta aisle, where it is always shady and cool, took a deep breath and before I knew it I was smiling and calm. Hostas are magic! I was showing some to a customer the other day who kept referring to them as "hostages". I could barely contain my giggles as I thought about her telling her friends that she had put some hostages in her yard. Hee!

I brought home another lavender plant this week, a more traditional English variety. It is pretty too, dusty and bluish compared to the verdant green of the other.

I have high hopes for it and the creeping thyme already present in the pot. What an intoxicating scent will come from those two!

Tonight I slipped outside to photograph a bit of the storm and to explore using a flash in the dark. Those types of photos always remind me of Roxy Music album covers and some of the other hyper-colored photos of 7os. I will definitely be exploring further as these were just snaps taken before I got soaked and chilled in the wind and rain.

I think I especially like how the natural greens pop in nighttime flash photography. I can't wait to do more.


Allison said...

*sigh* Great post..
I also believe that love does not need to be honed. I knew Matt was The One after a week.

Cat Pick said...

That makes me really happy to hear, Allison. And you know, you just KNOW. I can't define it. It's like a perfect chemical reaction.

Anonymous said...

Nicely said.. Love is a mysterious thing. I wish it did not dwindle so easy.

Cat Pick said...

It's true that it can dwindle quickly; but that doesn't diminish the love that was there. I just don't think love has to be this rare, precious gift that can only be shared once in a lifetime or some such nonsense.

And I do firmly believe that some love can last forever.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. This was exactly the thing I needed to read today, dealing with someone who is rejecting love (and me, too). The worst thing is knowing they feel it too, but for whatever reason are moving on. Yours is the correct philosophy.