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Thoughts on Love

Thoughts on Love March 15, 2011

Updated July 6, 2011

The more-than-just-your-average-popular British band, The Beatles, started their entire career with cute but sappy pop tunes about love. In fact, every artist who has ever created anything, whether it be through the ink of a pen, the paint on a canvas, or the notes of a song, has done so with love in mind. Whether it acts as an inspiration, a focal point, or a script, love is a major force in every art form. Music is riddled with nods towards the L word. Look at the biggest musicians, starting again with The Beatles. We have: The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Who, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Pink Floyd, I think I may have forgotten to mention The Beatles…mind you these only just artists from the sixties! That’s one full decade of musicians who all wrote about love, either directly or indirectly. Moving on: Celine Dion, The White Stripes, Enrique Iglesias, Van Halen, Nirvana, Tupac Shakur, Shakira, Vicente and Alejandro Fernandez, Jay-Z, The Drifters, Mana, The Gorillaz, Pearl Jam, My Chemical Romance, Eminem, Beyonce Knowles, The Backstreet Boys, NSYNC*, Foo Fighters, Aventura, Ana Gabriel, Soundgarden, Pitbull, who else? Everyone. Love is on everyone’s mind, almost all the time. Look at how many video games, movies, books, and even this goddamn narrative/ piece of shit prose are based on the concept, if only just the concept in addition to the emotion, of love. All forms of media or flooded with love and how we relate to it or if we relate at all. In my opinion, this is actually as things should be. No, I’m not a hopeless romantic or anything of the sort (at least I would hope not). But this topic is rightfully on everyone’s mind because it is the one emotion that comes in indescribable shades of the same color. Why? In short, love is something that cannot be defined because there is an infinite amount of ways to define it. There are ways to grasp at certain aspects of love though. What must be understood first is that love isn’t pretty, not in the least bit. And it’s certainly not painless. No. Love is pain. Pain is love. At times it is false hatred, and temporary anger, and it can even cause destruction, and especially weakness, and every emotion you can think of that isn’t generally associated with love at all. Love is just a rose (it really is though) a very beautifully delicate but fucking nasty thorny rose. A double-edged sword.  That’s all love is sometimes. However, people expect it not to be for some reason. We expect love to come to us easily, to lap at our hands like a faithful dog who would never even think to bite the hand that feeds. After we take our Beatles vinyl off the record, watch the final scene of The Notebook, or read the last chapter of Where the Red Fern Grows though, we realize our expectations for love are a little high, that maybe love takes work and might hurt us along the way. Keeping that in mind, we can’t forget that in essence, love is terminally beautiful and joyous as well. Love is a fresh dewdrop glistening on a silent lead after a light shower in the flowery springtime (girly enough for you yet?). It’s the smile of a widow after she places flowers on her late husband’s grave. The emotion felt when first discovering that first Beatles song you grow to love or seeing your favorite band on stage. It’s electric. Love is the patient voice of a nurse who assures the worried family that things are fine, the look in a dancers eyes when she steps on stage to the sound of applause, the warm embrace of a mother to a child, and especially the chill you get when you realize the girl you like is holding your hand. Love is ever kind and ever euphoric. Nevertheless, love is also the opposite. Love is the sharp pain of regret felt when you realize you might have lost a good friend. It’s the terrible feeling of loss and emptiness when you feel the weight of the coffin on your shoulder. The emotion felt when you hear the words: “It’s over.” Love is a child who waits patiently at home for the return of a father who will never come, the look in an athlete’s eyes when the final buzzer sounds and his shot rattles off the rim, the brutal slap of an angry husband, the raised voices of a family at a dinner table, and the hushed silence felt by an entire nation when two towers fell. Maybe most importantly, it should be understood that love is a struggle. A king fell three times on his way to sacrifice himself for people he knew would only hurt him again despite his love for them. Struggle. We all find it hard to let go of the people we love the most in our lives. Struggle. And even the happily married couple sometimes wake up in their beds wishing the pillow next to him or her was empty. Love is an inevitable struggle. It is a struggle to find the beauty of the emotions you feel when your love is equivalent to pain. It is a fight to constantly grow and change your ideas about your lover, to evolve your love together without becoming frustrated or angry. It is a constant struggle for the teenager to look at their parents and realize they are motivated only by love for their children. And it is a difficult task to look at those you love and hold your tongue in patience as they go their own way. Love is not easy, it simply doesn’t work that way. It tests your will and determination, in order to weed out those weak attempts at love, those who can’t handle the struggle, can’t withstand the fight, and won’t stomach the all-out-warfare that is love. Indeed if there was one word and word only to describe the phrase “infinite paradox” that word might, in fact, be love. Just as the painter paints love in a different shade than those of The Beatles’ first guitar chords and an altogether different hue than the writer’s final sentences. Let love be what you make it. But above all be prepared. For your love will be a struggle, no matter what shade of moonlight you decide to paint your scarlet rose with.

 

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