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Monday, June 06, 2005

What's Love Got to Do With It?

I think mrtl misses teaching, because she has taken it upon herself to give a Monday writing assignment to whomever is willing to accept it. Today's topic is "love." Too bad she couldn't have come up with something of some importance or something that everyone has some interest in. (By all means, run back to your blog and write about love if you're just learning about the Monday Assignment and want to play :)

I'm not willing to work hard enough in blogworld to really extract from my soul what I think, feel and believe about love. But I am willing to share some of my favorite words that others have written, spoken and sung.

I've actually been looking for a good excuse to post this on my blog. This is a song that I believe was sung by the legendary Mr. Green Jeans on the Captain Kangaroo show. We're going back, but it remains among the truest descriptions of love that I have heard:

Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away
Love is something if you give it away,
you'll end up having more

It's just like a magic penny;
hold it tight and you won't have any
But if you lend it, spend it,
you'll have so many
They'll roll all over the floor!

Love is something if you give it away,
you'll end up having more.
One of my favorite lines about soul-mate love is from "In Your Eyes," by Peter Gabriel, a song which Jif told me many years ago makes him think of me:

In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all my fruitless searches

One of my favorite songs about God's love is (turn down the volume if you're at work) "What Wondrous Love is This?"

I love LOTS of love songs. There's also an old country song, by Don Williams, with which I concur:

It takes one good well, deep and ever-flowing
It takes one good well, to draw from night and day
Pure and fine, it's yours and mine and it's always enough
We've got one good well, overflowing with everlasting love

Don't it seem kinda funny how people with a lot of money
only hunger for more?
You'd think they'd learn that money can burn;
It's love that keeps the wolf from the door

Precious love lies deep inside, hearts you can't buy and sell
When the money's low, still we know
We got -- one good well

A couple of my favorite non-musical quotes:
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove. O no! It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken . . . ~ Shakespeare

Work is love made visible. ~ Kahlil Gibran
I really like that one. Thinking of love in this way helps me to do the menial things that I despise doing sometimes. I want my love to be visible. It helps me see things like yard work, oil changes, trash cans to the curb, as pure, visible LOVE.

Most Powerful Movie Love Scene
One more little love story. When I married Jif, I loved him. And I was terrified that it would be a temporary state. I get bored very easily. Emotional ADD. I even told a priest and a minister, during the course of pre-marital discussions, "I can't promise to feel something for the rest of my life. How can anyone say that and mean it?" They both pretty much told me that "you just say it, to get married, whether you believe you can mean it or not." Now how pathetic is that, for religious leaders to say to a 20-something about something so important? I kid you not.

After we had been married a few years, Jif and I went nearly every weekend to visit his Aunt M, who was in a nursing home. She stayed in bed all the time, and the time came when she did not want to eat. She would, however, eat mashed potatoes if Jif would feed them to her. So every weekend, I'd sit in the chair, and Jif would sit on her bed, and I would listen while he and she reminisced about vacations at Cape May, many, many years ago. The same stories, every week. And every week, Aunt M would light up, to hear them and tell them. And every week, my husband, her nephew, would laugh at her stories as though hearing them for the first time. And in between stories, he fed her. He fed her. With absolutely no embarrassment or self-consciousness on either of their parts. She was completely dignified as she ate mashed potatoes from her great-nephew's spoon. I sat there taking it all in.

Some time later, the movie, "Driving Miss Daisy" came out. I adored that movie. The scene in which Hoke feeds Miss Daisy killed me. I sobbed and sobbed to see it, and later, to think of it. And after a time, I realized why. It was the same love, the same respect, the same trust and faith that was there when Jif fed Aunt M. And then I knew. I knew that I could mean "forever" with this man. I knew that a man who could so gracefully, so graciously, feed his beloved Aunt (the babysitting Aunt whom Jif's parents once found asleep, tied to a chair, wearing a cowboy hat and a holster with bananas in it, as she had been arranged by Jif and his brothers), that man . . . that's not a boring man. That man is deep enough and rich enough to never, ever bore me.

Oh, mrtl, see what you did?

And I cannot end a discussion of love without sharing these two, who truly represent so many different kinds of love . . .

What? They've been best friends for 50 years! They love books! OK, I really just wanted to show you my new toys. They're stuffed!

Your turn. Speak to me of love.

52 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger WILLIAM said...

Great post. I know I will be singing Peter Gabriel for the rest of the day.

True love is the greatest thing in the world. Except maybe an MLT. A mutton lettuce and tomato sandwich. When the mutton is nice and lean. And the tomatoes are ripe and perky.

Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Ah, Susie, you touch on some o' my favorite things today (oh, not like that).

Mr. Green Jeans...if he sang it, it must be the Truth.

Peter Gabriel In Your Eyes: "I see the doorway to a thousand churches" I'm not the least bit religious, but that line has always been like an arrow through my heart.

Gumby and Pokey: Symbols of everlasting love if ever I saw 'em.

Blogger Candace said...

Susie, that Peter Gabriel song was our wedding song! Why did you make me cry at 9 in the morning?? (good crying!)

And The Prophet (Gibran) was read at our wedding.

You know how I feel about my love. He's my everything, my best friend, my soul mate.

And I never knew how ferocious love could be until I had children.

William, I think I might have a little crush on you right now. Have fun storming the castle!

Anonymous lawbrat said...

Very beautiful. Some many different things can define love. For each person its different, yet the same. I dont know if that makes sense...oh well.
Have a great Monday!!

Anonymous Sharkey said...

Susie, your Jif story reminds me of one of the reasons I knew J.P. was the man for me. He was working in Oregon when he got word that his dad was seriously ill in NJ. He left work mid-day, packed up his apartment, and never went back. Then he moved back in with his parents to help take care of his dad.

And doesn't that sound so much better than "My boyfriend still lives with his parents"? :)

Blogger Susie said...

william, with the first post, you have given us the word of the day: mutton. Never before written on this blog, to my recollection. And you have probably also added to my google porn search repertoire, with your perky tomatoes.

smokefree bucky, Mr. Green Jeans was a great spiritual leader. Yes, that is a powerful line. I put it up there with Smokey Robinson's "let me be the clock for the time of your life...let me be the pendulum that strikes your chime..."

misfit, every time we visit one another, we find things in common :) Oh, mother love. I couldn't even go there today. I realized, with horror and fascination, that I was wholly capable of murder when we were driving infant LG home from the hospital. I wanted to say to the other motorists, "You do realize that if you cause an accident in which my baby gets hurt, I will kill you. You know this, right?" And it hasn't toned down much, since then.

lawbrat, as Leeann Rimes (I think that's right) sings, "nothin' 'bout love makes sense."

sharkey, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout. We want a man who will do what needs to be done. Amen.

Anonymous kalki said...

As always, Susie, I enjoy reading your perspective on things. And what you said about loving Jif forever touched me deeply today. Thanks.

Blogger Squirl said...

That was really beautiful. I held it together and didn't get teary-eyed, though, until you told how Jif fed his aunt M. That was so touching. And I love your new stuffed Gumby and Pokey.

Blogger laurenbove said...

Great songs and great post Susie. Love is love.

Gumby and Pokey are my favorites. I loved that cartoon when I was a tiny weeone.

Anonymous MrsDoF said...

After a very busy weekend, I think I'm gonna just tread water for awhile and not swim into this. Thank you for such a nice thought-provoking message, but this Monday morning just don't have the timing right for me.

Blogger Nilbo said...

Laurenbove said "Love is love". I honestly believe that, and it's gotten me into trouble.

Shall I 'splain ...?

Every kid with a sibling has, at one time or another, asked a parent "Who do you love more ...?" And (providing the parent isn't a sociopath) the answer is "Why, I love you both the same".

I think that applies to everyone we love. So I love my wife the same as I love my kids, the same as I love my parents and brother and sisters. And so far, everybody is nodding ...

... until I add "... the same as I love my friends ..."

When I add that last part, my wife stops nodding abruptly. "So, you love ME the same as you love, say, S ...?" (S is my best friend, a woman with whom I worked closely for years, travelled with, share an emotional and intellectual shorthand with ... and whose presence in my life has provoked occasional twinges of jealousy.)

"Yeah, just the same. Love is love." I say.

"Excuse me? No degrees?"

"Nope. If it ain't 100%, it ain't love. I can't love someone a little bit. I either love a person, or I don't."

And I honestly believe that. I think we have endless capacity for love - we can love an infinite number of people. But love is love. There's only one way to FEEL it.

Now, there are endless ways to EXPRESS love, just as there are endless ways to express anger, hatred, sadness ... any emotion. But when I feel sad, it feels just the same no matter what I'm sad about. So it is, for me, with love.

I don't add that I have others in my life I love. No need to pour fuel onto the fire. But it's true. I love lots of people.

I like that feeling. And I like looking at love that way.

Blogger SierraBella said...

I saw the movie "Love Story" as a young girl and became confused by the "Love means never having to say you're sorry" message.
I've learned one does have to say they're sorry... and then let the issue go.

Unless you are really into make-up sex.

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Awesome, Susie. Just awesome. Makes me want to go home and "do better."

Blogger Susie said...

kalki, thank you. I know you are an overachiever and did your love post early; I will come to check it out :)

squirl, that still gets me, too. I am very blessed, I know that and try not to take a moment for granted. I just got my new toys last night. Simple pleasures :)

laurenbove, I hear Paul McCartney in your comment. Love is real. Real is love.

mrsDoF, thanks for letting me know you were here; no mandatory assignments, just jump in when it feels good to you :)

nilbo, that is interesting. I can say pretty confidently that you and I are quite different when it comes to loving. I do have both different varieties and different degrees of love, by my understanding of what love is. Not one size fits all, at all. Very interesting. If you posted your philosophy of love on your blog, I'll bet you would generate a lot of discussion.

sierrabella and her counting dogs, yes, that line should go on a list of the stupidest things anyone has ever said about love. I say "I'm sorry" with some regularity.

thank you, CK, but I take no credit. I think you, like I, are constantly on that quest to try to "do better." Just a little bit better today than yesterday is good enough.

Blogger laurenbove said...

I meant exactly that no more and no less: Love is love.

The interpretation is the point. It is indivdual, organic and cannot be pinpointed ever ever ever.

What did I mean precisely? Only I know. But everyone's answer is correct.

Blogger Susie said...

Thank you for that wisdom, lover laurenbove ;)

Blogger marybishop said...

Here's my take: inside of you there is a "love bank" with many accounts. One account for spouse, one for each child, one for mother, one for father, best friend, aunt etc. etc.

This is how loving one person never takes away from loving another - the love comes from different accounts and doesn't relate.

I even have a pizza account.

Blogger laurenbove said...

It was my sincerest pleasure, love.

Blogger ieatcrayonz said...

That was fantastic. Next time, put a "Sob at Work" disclaimer before stories about Aunt M. I'm so glad you put in the cowgirl story. I was about to lose it into my keyboard.

My Aunt M. "I'm going to love this man forever" moment occurred last September when we had our baby girl. As he held me up in the hospital shower, soaked from head to toe and smiling, I knew.

You should've seen the HUGE grin on my face when you quoted a song from the "Gentle Giant." He is my husband's all time favorite singer and we played "Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good" during the groom's entrance at our wedding. It's an odd song for a wedding, but we found a verse that worked.

Blogger Effie said...

If you want I could get all theological on you and explain the 3 kinds of love: eros which is the physical love, agape which is a God-like, all encompassing love, and filial (I know that's not the right term, sorry) which is the kind of love that you have for your friends, family and is unconditional.

But, instead, I will share a song with you from none other than a big purple dinosaur, Barney:
I love you, you love me,
we're a happy family,
with a great big hug
and a kiss from me to you
won't you say you love me too?!

Another love song that I favour is:
I looove yooou,
Iii looove you.

I love you in the morning
and in the afternoon
I love you in the evening
Underneath the moon

Oh, skinnamerinky-dinky-dink
Skinnamerinky doooo
I love you too, boo-boo be-doo!

(I just realized that all you Americans out there may not recognize this infamous Canadian children's song....from Sharon, Lois and Bram...you'd love the actions too. Find them at www.skinnamarink.com They've been on tv since I was little and they've changed a bit since then, but still pretty much the same!)

Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

Your post made me tear up AGAIN! You are good. Jif sounds lovely.

Blogger August95 said...

Mr. Green Jeans and a good love story all in one blog. You are a wonderful writer and I enjoy your take on things. Thanks for spreading the happy.

Blogger Torrie said...

Yeah, Gumby and Pokey are "friends".

Anonymous Pokey said...

I harbor a secret love for Flanella Jo. I see a thousand churches in her eyes.
Please don't tell Gumby.

Blogger LadyBug said...

Oh, Susie. That part about Jif and his Aunt M was just beautiful. (I'm sure I'm repeating here. No time to read all the comments.) THAT kind of love is truly remarkable.

Blogger Squirl said...

Okay, I took this as an excuse to write my next post. If you want to see my views on love then then come on over to my blog.

Blogger laurenbove said...

effie: we do the skinnamarink over here! I think Jimmy Durante was one of the first but now all the kiddies are into it w/hand motions and everything.

Here's one:

I love you
A bushel and a peck
A bushel and a peck and
A hug around the neck
A hug around the neck and
A barrel and a heap
A barrel and a heap and
I'm talkin' in my sleep
About you....about you.....

Ohhh...I love you, a bushel and a peck, you bet your dirty neck, I do!

FYI: 1 US bushel = 35.239072 liters

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

laurenabove -- Hey! I never knew all the words to that song. Thank you! :)

Anonymous lawbrat said...

I have to differ with Nilbo on this on. First, my kids have never asked if I love one more than the other. I have actually asked them if they wonder about it. They said no, I love them the same, but different. Both said something similar to that, not the exact words. There are many types and degrees, IMO. I love each of my kids differently, because they are different. I would love a spouse differently than any children I have, and friends even differently. Some friends I love to a different degree than another. I love my parents, yet to a much different degree and type. Almost simply out of respect. I think I would feel sad if love was one size fits all.

Blogger Torrie said...

I don't know if I agree with Nilbo that there are no degrees of love, but I certainly love some of my friends more than some of my family members. I do not belive blood is thicker than water. Some of my friends are more my family than some of my family is.

Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Great Scott, Susie, this is so pretty. Yay for Don Williams.

Blogger Susie said...

MB, I can heartily endorse your "love bank" theory. That's very close to how I handle accounts. And Mr. Green Jeans' magic penny economy is at work, as well. The more you spend, the more you have. Unlike other bank accounts.

robyn, thank you for the shower story. That might be an interesting blog topic. Most people who are happily married/paired may have had a moment of "knowing," even long after the "I dos" were said. Because, on that day, you don't REALLY know. I think.
OK, how much do I LOVE YOU RIGHT NOW for even knowing who Don Williams IS, much less telling me you had one of his songs at your wedding. I love it! I didn't think any of you young, ubercool whippersnappers would have heard of him. I could just sit and listen to him sing until I fall over dead or have to pee really bad, whichever comes first.

effie, I thank you for sharing both the theology and the "classic" love songs :) We know Sharon, Lois and Bram! Jif thought I made up the skinnamarink song for LG. I didn't let him think it for too long, but that was kind of funny. I'm having good wishes for your new house and your peonies, I hope that happens for you.

kranki, I hope you're doing well. I'm not always good. Jif is often lovely. Someone who knows us both and reads this blog commented at church yesterday, teasing us, that I make him sound perfect. My plan is to keep telling you guys nice things about him for a few more months, then sell him on ebay!

august95, thank you very much for that. I enjoy your writing and your perspective as well :)

torrie, truly, they are. And while I'm talking to you, I'll comment on your other comment. I agree with you. The people that I consider my "family" now are not all related in any way. Some are related by blood or marriage, some not at all. In adulthood, I do believe we must assemble our own families. Some people will include many or even all of their relatives; some can't include any, and have a healthy "family."

POKEY, I am incredibly surprised to see you here, but I must say, I understand. I only spoke to Flanella Jo once or twice, but I, too, was pretty smitten with her. I wish she'd come around some time. I'll bet she knows a lot about love.

ladybug, thank you, and I agree. To me, that's the real deal.

squirl, thank you, I popped over, and I have to find something that I want to share with you. I'll be over again :)

lb, my mom used to sing that song to me. Thank you. And that is so YOU, to educate us as well as entertain and inspire. I LOVE YOU a bushel and a peck.

lawbrat, yep, I hear you. The one size fits all doesn't fit me, either.

hoss, you know Don, too? I should have known an experienced citizen like you would know someone so important.

Blogger mrtl said...

How sweet! And you thought you could get away with just posting those dregs that you couldn't figure out where they fit. See how it all fits?


Blogger Vajana said...

I wanted to post earlier but lost track of time and now it looks as though it all has been said!

When I was a senior in college we had an assignment for a Human Sexuality course to bring in any words or song lyrics or poems, etc. that best described our idea of LOVE. The teacher put them all in a book for us to keep. I still have it.

Of course, college students have less of an idea on what love is than a slug most of the time, but still!

Anonymous blogaholic said...

i went to a wedding recently and a friend of mine who was in the bridal party made a speech and she said something that has been resonating in my mind for days. she said "i hope that years from now, you look back and remember today as the day you loved each other the least". at 1st i was like ok that's just rude but then thought about how true it SHOULD be, but for many is not. I think some people get really comfortable in relationships, and forget about the love part.

Blogger Random and Odd said...

Susie - I'm so glad to be home so I can catch u on blogs and yours is always top o' the list...and this post reminds me why.

Blogger this.is.damon said...

Damon: Uh ... that was really sweet Susie ... beautiful writing ...
Susie: Damon? Are you crying???


Anyway ... I think I wrote some sentiments about love in a past blog, Being Fat Sucks

Blogger Spurious Plum said...

Sorry, I was compelled to your site by sheer good vibe-ery (Bucky, you keep quiet).

There should be a Love Day. Not like Valentines day with all the red, lacey muckety-muck but REAL love. Like the kind you celebrated today.

I nominate today Real Love Day, in honor of Susie. Viva la Dio de Amor de Veridad!

Blogger Susie said...

smoochie mrtl, yea, yea, whatever. (Dregs, she says? Dregs?)

vajana, it is not possible to say EVERYTHING about love! That book sounds like a great keepsake.

blogaholic, I like that. That works.

kristine, you're so sweet. I know you don't like to read the long ones, so thanks for taking time :)

damon, quitcher cryin'! There's more of you to love.

plum, I know that you do have the POWER to proclaim such things, so that's it. June 6th is Real Love Day. And honored, I am. Thank you.

Blogger _Summer_ said...

Susie Sus, a lovely post you have made, indeed. Interestingly, though I typically do not prefer Shakespeare's sonnets, I memorized that particular entry years ago...and the Peter Gabriel is one of my favorites (in part because of a long-since abandoned crush on John Cusack).

If J ever said ANY (nice) song (about love, of course) reminded him of me, I'd swoon absolutely.


Blogger Susie said...

summer, for me, there's that sonnet, which I actually have on a locket, and there's one other, that I must track down, because it makes me think of LG...I'll have to get back to y'all on that.
You should direct J to my blog, specifically, to your comment. Subtlety is so over-rated. Tell him such a thing would please you.
When we were house-hunting, I saw in this one house, a framed calligraphy thing, with the lyrics to Lionel Richie's "Ballerina Girl." I asked the lady about it, and she said that her husband had it made for her, because that was his song to her. Now, yes, it is a lame song (IMO), but how SWEET is the gesture? Wouldn't any woman love that, as a gift? I surely would. I mean, you know, with the proper song.
(HA! I think I'll direct Jif to my blog, to this comment!)

Blogger tinkamarink said...

I love my mother. How could I not? She's everything I am now to my kids. I love my sister. She'll be my life-long best friend. We share a childhood that I will never share with anyone else. I love my husband. He accepts me in a way that no one else in my life ever has. But the love I have for my kids is unlike anything I've ever in my life, felt for anything else. It was instantaneous, heart-shattering, and never-ending.

OK, you made me cry and I haven't even had my coffee yet. Thank you!

Blogger Effie said...

Another example of love is when I'm feeling particularly crampy and grumpy because of my "monthly visitor" and my hubby comes over and cuddles with me and starts singing "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine..."

That song and "Yabba dabba doo, I love my Effie" (yes, that was originally sung to Wilma by Fred) are the only 2 songs he has ever sung to me...and I feel so loved....

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Hubby will take Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and sing "Kelli Jean"...

Blogger Zahra said...

Just stopped by your blog - I loved this post. I can totally relate to it. I think sometimes that moment you realise you CAN love somebody for the rest of your life doesn't just have to be one, single moment though. I think it can also be a gradual realisation...

Blogger zhoen said...

William, Nice Princess Bride quotation. Twooo Wuuuv!

I prefer the meatphor of flame. Love is like the passing of flame from candle to candle, increasing the light as it is shared by more and more. Jealousy being the antithesis of love. Some loves burn brighter, some dimmer.

Love as verb, only real if it is put into action, and must be felt as love by the receiver. Must be two way, it is not really love if one is obsessed and the other using.

I must do a full on essay on this soon.

Blogger srp said...

Loved your story about the great aunt.

Being loved makes one smile:

If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you've made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand.
- Unknown

Love can last a lifetime. My parents are 54 years married and going strong.

Blogger Nic said...

Oh Susie sunshine! What a beautiful post! I'm coming in on this a day late b/c well, with work and all i don't have so much time anymore to peruse the blogs. To me love is warmth, it is joy, it is comfort, it is a hug to warm you when all the warmth has gone out of your life. It is the smile on my daughter's face, the laughter in her voice, the heartbroken tears that she cries when her feelings are hurt, the tight hugs around the neck that say "I'm so happy you're my mommy!". Love is my daughter. Total, complete, all encompasing, unconditional forever-and-ever-amen kind of love that would make me give my life for her without hesitation.

Blogger The Lioness said...

I am a firm believer in love, all manifestations of it. I have a whole category dedicated to it, to my very recently dead ex-boyfriend cum best friend.

Loverboy, in the beginning of our rather recent relationship, told me I needed to know 2 things abt him: a) he was faithful and b) I could talk abt U. all I liked, he'd never feel jealous, he understood, he loves how I talk abt him.


I'm very happy that you have your Jif, and that your Jif has you. Doesn't matter that I know neither of you, I believe in great loves and I believe only those are worth it and that we shouldn't settle for less. Spoon-feeders are an absolute must, there can't be love without respect and great generosity. And as we say here, "on the backs of others we see our own."

Blogger Annejelynn said...

when I first read this, Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It" began to BLARE in my head... to play off your casual "as if it's important" tease in the beginning of your post...

geesh- "love" - what a shame, eh?

you will come
to understand
that love heals
and love is
all there is

- Gary Zukav

Blogger Annejelynn said...

william was quoting "Princess Bride" - glad to see someone else caught it.. you rock, zhoenw!

Blogger Annejelynn said...

Susie - if I haven't said it already, you're a lucky woman.

"Mmmmmmmmm-MMMMMMMMM" - virtual hug from me to you, cuz yousah cutie!


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