Why oh why does English only have one word for love? Intimacy, sexuality, romance, none of these are verbs. You can have sisterly, brotherly, friendship love but these are only adjectives, adverbs to describe the verb of loving, which attempts to describe something so profound and instead gets so overused as to become cheapened.
Romance, of course, appears most. First loves - heart breaking and rejuvenating. Spontaneous, raw, intense. Snapshots and short strips of film lodged in memories like symphonies that begin all over again with a simple cello tuning.
Leaning that fairy tales aren't real, unless princes can be girls and have paws. Not betting on anything related to another human, hurt, hurt and so much need for connection.
And yet when you can grow where you are planted - marriage, children: saying I love you a million times a minute so it will soak into your spouse and children's bones. Is it possible to love too much? Is it possible to give too much? Can loving the self really help someone else? The most complex love of all - that which we try to grow for ourselves, without feeling selfish. "How can I be me and love someone else?"
Animals. First dogs and cats, wet paws and snouts that lick broken up wounds. Some kind of unconditionally, simplicity, like most have for their children and few have for their parents. Teaching us how to love, then, because they die so easily, under card or of cancer, so young, how to let go. Love of land and nature go here, too, love of most places, especially those without people - farms and cabins, lakes and hills or mountains.
And trying to make what once was one love into another, under the public gaze of your friends' opinions. When do ex's become friends? Have we really let go of they are the one thing we regret? What we hoped to leave behind, to blame, that follows us into every other relationship to come. Trying to answer complex questions with simply leaving, and yet, sometimes leaving must happen.
Yoga, dance, running - for some the simplest love of all, and for others a fear-based festival. Sweat and trust, knees and feet thrust just so. Who made you feel good? Is sometimes less a who and more a how, just like studying the patterns of how we were hurt, the furrowed brows, we can feel when a skull was held just so in another's hands.
"I love deeply, steeped in the people around me," the sacredness of sacrifice when in the right context. Looking at religiosity - when is surrender not about paid for sins but about a fundamental forgiveness. An erasing between the boundaries of icons and myths and into the deep earth experiences we all share: bliss of connection, sharpness of rejection. Being together in groups, simply working or laughing, a thousand eyes looking back across the Willy St parade. Sometimes easier to feel it for or from hundreds of others than the one right in front of you.
So excited to get love. Then, shit. Now what? Habit and grasping, lust and disappointment. But after that, love again, from a friend or from the same companion, a re-working it out. When er can't hold or hug, when what our other needs is something we can't give, how can we trust they know they are loved? Letting them soak in it in any way we can.
Focusing on breathing, again and again: falling asleep on mama's belly, listening to a lover or partner or pet snore, feeling in your own body enough to feel love or a longing for love. For life. Love is our oxygen; drink it in. There are depths of love possible that we aren't even aware of, and chances are they won't come from those we know best. Stretching to meet different families, different languages that can express these feelings with their bodies or faces or words we can't even pronounce.
Exciting, exhausting, pacing ourselves because the best love is constantly discovering, finding comfort in discomfort, being willing to be unsure for just a moment longer.
Being willing to put a stake in the ground and choose love over death means active work. Resistance, resilience, resonance.