Love is something I believe in so strongly that sometimes I feel like I don’t know any other way to feel about anything. I know it was Valentine’s Day this Friday, and I would be a liar if I said that the stigma (Singles Awareness, V-Day, red roses, chocolate) surrounding that day did not influence my urge to write this post. Nearly an hour of my Friday was sacrificed to the quotation gods of the internet in a plea that someone supply words to describe my own undying devotion to Love.
That specific impetus for a post marks the beginning of a new phase of this little blog of mine. It’s been a wonderful experience so far, writing all of these previously unshared undocumented thoughts down in the internet, the modern world’s humble substitute for immortality, but I’ve been slacking lately. I’ve been putting this aside as I concentrate on More Important Things. Friend Things. Job Things. Graded Things. I was really feeling completely satisfied with that organizational structure until Valentine’s Day came along and I found myself swept up in the holiday spirit, cheerfully wishing dining hall workers a Happy Valentine’s Day, wearing red cardigans, and immersing myself completely into the watercolor infinity pool that comprises the human psyche.
It all began in the morning when, fresh out of the shower and still sitting in my robe and hair towel, I attempted to compose an appropriate Valentine’s Day Facebook post. I couldn’t find any quote that fully reconciled my own swirling whirling opinions about love, so I guess in some ways this post is my belated way of trying to describe it. It won’t be enough, but thankfully last night before I went to bed I spent an hour researching art journals and have recently pledged myself to a Facebook group designed to foster creativity via art journal for every week of 2014, so I have a safety net if this post fails to sufficiently contain my thoughts on the matter.
This paragraph was supposed to begin my extensive inquiry into a deeply personal explanation of love and how it influences my life. But as soon as I started writing it, I realized how melodramatic I was preparing to be. (Incidentally, I am entirely aware that a lot of the posts on this blog end up being that way. I attribute that to the fact that I began it while taking a class on Faulkner, the first author with whom I’ve ever been obsessed, so my brain was temporarily conditioned to be extensively analytical and pensive and replicate my world as seen through Faulkner’s eyes.) Here goes my second draft of that aborted paragraph:
Truly, my relationship to love is not complicated at all. One of my favorite historical documents from AP European History was What is the Third Estate? I think it could provide a more than suitable framework for my own philosophical wanderings today. Here goes:
What is love? Love is an unquenchable urge to do something. It comes from secret location in the abdomen that no x-ray, no Pilates workout, no stomach pump, no roller coaster may ever deign to reach (though the symptoms of a love-infected body could be sufficiently approximated with a program of these activities.)
What has it been until now in the political order? Nothing. As I go through scores of internship applications and college program options there’s no way to search for love. There’s no one who gives an intern’s ass about love. It’s all skills. The amount of conversations in my education class that have focused on the injustice of standardized testing is mind boggling as I scroll through the “ideal candidate” descriptions. Even the out of the box descriptions have become standard. And yet, all people here on earth are in love with something. With a pipe dream. With God. With power. With themselves. With a great woman, man, child. As I went blissfully floating through February 14th I was in awe that a society as complex and evil as ours could be had the heart to designate a day to the unadulterated enjoyment of love. Then I realized I didn’t love Valentine’s Day so much because of the cards and the chocolate and the flowers, although those are incredibly delightful attachments to the date. Really, I loved the fact that it was the celebration of emotion. With the support of Hallmark and Lindt and the mighty Cupid’s arrow, it demanded that I look around and love people whether I was prepared to or not. It sprouted right up in the middle of all of those classes and applications and meetings that were supposed to be shaping my future and showed me who I wanted to be. I want to be Valentine’s Day. I want to be someone urgently romantic, if a bit kitschy, who loves things so fiercely and with such abandon that they attract other people to their centrifuge and create space where there was once just packed schedules and obligations.
So what does love ask? I’ve spent the past few days ruminating on this newfound sense of purpose. I’m listening to the heart that beat so strongly through my workout this morning that I had to tear myself off the elliptical. It’s asking me to talk to people. To love them. To stare these button up internship applications and course descriptions in the face and demand that they fit my own perspective on the world. It’s asking me to really tell a story. To stop being afraid of my own thoughts. To stop shying away from the deep feelings. To start being Auntie Mame not in 10 or 20 years but in this instant. Here. Now. To scratch at the world’s surface until I get so deep that it consumes me forever.
So I’m sharpening my nails, kids. I’m going to do everything out of consuming, aching, crushing, nauseating, wrenching, exploding love. As a young mixed up kid, that’s the only foundation I can guarantee will be here for the rest of my life. Love is all around no need to waste it. Love has come! What I Did for Love. Let us be women who love.
If you’re reading this, you’re here with me in my space. We’re occupying the same vacuum. You’re part of my metaphysical extension. I won’t let you down.
I love you.