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    This is my part of a three-part challenge to the statement 'a picture is worth a thousand words.' I shall attempt to publish the photo here as well, and the other parts of the contest, assuming I get permission from the artists.

    This was written with the limits of one hour and one thousand words.

    Love - Words

    It's queer, this love thing. I mean, although I've never run across someone who claimed they didn't know what the word meant, I doubt their definitions would mesh. As an abstract, it is subject to many different interpretations and faltering expressions. Nearly everyone wants it, but hardly anyone expends the energy necessary to maintain it. Either taken for granted, or demanded regardless of merit, love is abused every day in countless ways. To make matters worse, those of us who truly understand what the greatest love is, know that we are incapable of earning it.

    Love is a feeling. Sometimes it takes you by surprise, a heart-thumping realization that there is Someone out there who does not care what you do, what you look like, or how you act; not in the sense of endorsing wrong actions or thoughts, no. Occasionally you get hit in the opposite direction, and have to acknowledge that you love someone. Not always in a exuberant, bubbling excess. I have been harder hit by the slow and relentless creeping of a knowledge that I love another than by a sudden attraction.

    Love is a choice. Are you always 'lovable'? Apparently so, because love never fails. But how often can you claim to deserve love, stake it as your own? “Ah, yes, you should all love me because ... I have money. I'm pretty. I'm smart.” Those attributes have no bearing on the true meaning of the word love. It takes work to continuously love someone. No matter who or what they are, as sentient beings we're generally stubborn and opinionated and subject to all kinds of petty irritations.

    Love is a duty. We are actually commanded to love. Come on, you say, how can you demand love? Feelings are quite difficult to command; I know, I've tried. And if you are commanded to love, how is it then a choice? But obedience is always a choice, and obedience is itself a demonstration of love.

    I don't know whether it's a result of lack of sleep, too much caffeine, not enough food, or some other combination of circumstantial circumstances, but every once in a while I almost touch upon a truth that I am certain I would be incapable of containing if my fragile human mind could fully grasp it. Unconditional love. And I don't mean the kind that would cause you to endorse whatever idiocies someone said, or approve stupidities of an idol.

    That's not what I'm talking about at all. Simply put, true love is love you cannot affect. How about the realization that there is Someone who loves that person in front of you at the grocery store? There are thousands, millions of people in the world – all of them known and loved by someone. That kind of love is incomprehensible to me. And the fact that I have been on the cusp of seeing it, so close that my thoughts recoil out of terror, does not bring it closer.
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      CommentAuthorDaylily
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2008
     
    Bravo!