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what is this thing called love
this funny thing
called love
just who can solve its mystery
why should it make
a fool of me?
(Cole Porter)

What is love? Maybe we have been led astray by modern media? Could it be that wittingly or unwittingly we have been herded into an understanding and definition of love that is misleading? What web has Hollywood spun? …. and like a dog, have we become befriended?

Romance, a walk on a sunset beach, a suggestive touch over a glass of wine, a prelude to final consummation and the promise of eternal, uninterrupted bliss.

Has love always been like this? A superficial tingling, an obsession, an insatiable desire? An all consuming passion that burns and totally distracts everything else until we take possession of that which we desire?

Or could it simply be peace? Could it be more like a harmonious resonance as time and space is shared by two or more beings who find themselves in close proximity? Could it be the embracing of someone outside of yourself in a meaningful, committed manner? Perhaps love could be as bland as a decision, a commitment to honour and support regardless of circumstance?

There was a time when marriages were pre-arranged. The deal was done before the couple had even set eyes on each other. Do these marriages suffer the absence of love? Statistics seem to suggest that they last longer than marriages that are made by self determined choice between couples.

We love God, a favourite dish, our pet, a movie, a favourite sport, a child. What are we loving when we love these – the objects/subjects of that which we love or the feelings we conjure up about them in our own minds. What is the source of the pleasure love offers? What is the focus of love? What is the goal of love? Do we feel the way we love or love the way we feel?

Perhaps love has become so blurred in our times that it is no wonder that we can fall out of love as easily and as quickly as we seem to fall into it. Whatever it really is we are obsessed with love. We write novels, songs, poems about love. We look to love for healing and wholeness and love failed tears us to shreds, and in some cases even suicide. Love seems to have the ability to give life and destroy it.

In the ancient texts we are told that God is love. We are challenged to love God and others as we love ourselves. So, how do we feel about ourselves? Is that the feeling of love? Perhaps this is the only data we have that is not outside of ourselves and therefore somewhat speculative? If the idea of God being love was our departure point would we love others around us differently? approaching the same thing from the other way what might it say of our love for God if we really were honest about how we loved others and even ourselves?

Has love devolved into merely a word? A simple abstract concept that is open for individual definition? Has the doctrine of love become an open negotiation?

Words paint beautiful pictures but they also burn them.

What is this thing called love, this funny thing called love? Just who can solve its mystery? Why should it make a fool of me?


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