September 16, 2019

Four Letters

Love. How does a small four letter word elicit, give, and take so much from us? Not once, not twice, but for the entirety of our lives. Since birth, we move towards love in the same way that a plant drifts towards the sun. We gravitate towards love, spend our whole lives trying to find it, describe it, be enveloped and embraced by it. At times, we even lose ourselves in the pursuit and wonderment of something as elusive as love. The joy, the confusion, especially the pain that love brings produces such a strong, deep visceral reaction as if even our body can't stand the weight and magnitude of this word. This word, this short, one syllable word hangs onn the tip of our tongues and over our heads. The more you look at love, think about it, say it out loud, the more overwhelming it becomes to define it.

L-o-v-e—made up of two vowels and two consonants, the word itself is so evenly split down the middle. When I attempt to define love, I'm often stumped to even begin the process of putting words to a feeling that's so indescribable. A self-proclaimed romantic at heart, I’ve fallen in and out of love a few times with different people and places. I can define it in terms of what I had wish I had gotten out of those times, what I thought I needed in order to feel complete in that moment. How I hoped that love would complete the mess of a being that I was, and still is. But all of those definitions seem to fall flat, barely scraping the essence and full range of a word like love.

This seemingly tiny word, love, captivates us and holds our attention for a lifetime and possibly beyond. It may have even cradled us before we came to be in this lifetime. It has to, otherwise how does it drive us and moves us in so many ways, in almost every way possible? And how we blindly follow it, allowing it to move us forward and back, taking us down paths we never once considered. To heaven and far beneath to hell.

If we can't define it, can we truly feel it to the degree in which we're all striving towards? Or is it because it's undefinable, that because its essence is rooted in the indescribable that we feel it so? Perhaps this intoxicating, mind-altering, "feel the need all the way down in our bones, in our nerves type" feeling is some sort of otherworldly magic, gifted to us to guide us. To show us a way of living, of thinking beyond the numbers in our bank accounts and LinkedIn job titles. Maybe the meaning of love is to find others that share your same meaning. To find souls that intrinsically can see, breathe, and simply be in that light, that softness.

And so, I have no conclusion for you, no way to end this conscious stream of thoughts. These words spilled out of me, perhaps empowered by the full moon, Friday the 13th, or by my own heartbreak. All I hope is that perhaps this piece made you think, made you feel a little something. Or if not, I hope you enjoyed it at the very least.

photo credit: samantha yi

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