February, the month of love, the month of St. Valentine’s Day. The month you’ll find multiple love story movies showing on television and reds and pinks everywhere in the stores. I can’t help but wonder if there’s more jewellery commercials during February or the weeks leading up to Christmas. Has social marketing killed February’s love?
Whatever the case may be February always leads to love talk.
But, what is love?
Writers need to understand emotions in order to translate them to the page and to the reader. We need our characters to feel in order for our readers to feel.
So, today we’re asking…what is love?
I’m going to sneak in here quickly with something of my own. My grandfather, Pa, died in February. February 7, 1982 to be exact. Not only was I a daddy’s girl, but I was a Pa’s girl as well. I knew he was gone as we raced out of the house to the hospital and my grandmother, Nanny. It’s one of the reasons I’ve hated February. I’m now a married mom who has lost her daddy and her Nanny, but I still know their love. That love carries to my husband, child, and mom. And reading my Muser Family’s musings, I’m reminded that love is the emotion which connects us all. It ties us to each other.
Let’s join our Musers and feel their love…
Heather Brainerd co-author of JOSE PICADA, P.I.: DECEPTION AL DENTE, JOSE PICADA, P.I.: THE SOUND OF SIRENS, and author of DREAM SHADE
Love is honesty and commitment, faith and trust. Love is being able to act silly without fear of judgement. It makes your heart race and your spirits soar. Love is what I found when I least expected it. It has taken me places I never dreamed possible. So, for me, love is like magic.
Pauline (P.M.) Griffin author of THE STAR COMMANDOS series
Love is caring about and for one another and commitment each to the other. Romeo-and-Juliet is exciting for the blink in time that it lasts, but it is nothing at all without the rest.
Love is my husband giving me a Christmas card this year, saying that we are more than husband and wife, that we are soulmates, that we cherish each other, that we are each other's best friend, that if we were to have a photo made it would show only one person, not two, that his heart is my heart and mine is his, that our love for each other defies explanation...all of this after 35 years of marriage. Do I need to add anything else about "love?"
If I know what love is, it is because of you. – Hermann Hesse
Valentine's Day is a great holiday for many reasons. It comes after all of the "good will towards men" has worn off. We take time to celebrate love. And love is love, right? Love is never wrong.
It's quite wonderful that we take a day to think about the people closest to us, that makes the other 364 days worth living. Love need not have words, only the beating of hearts. But the expression, "I love you," can send one flying high. There is no message more joyful then those three magical words.
What is love? Love is an emotion that wells up from the very depths inside me. It is simple joy—at seeing those who are special to me, like my husband of almost 56 years through our family and dear friends right on to our first great granddaughter—or the thrill of being alive—to be able to feast my eyes on the beautiful world around me, or eat a peanut butter sandwich. It is what allows me to feel and show sympathy, compassion, tenderness, and, yes, even anger. It’s what sustains me through the hard times, the boring times, and the lonely times, knowing they have “come to pass,” not to stay (including all those valentines and especially the Halloween costumes!). It is knowing that no matter how great—or how horrible—life is at that moment, all I have to do is to lean back to feel my Father’s arms enveloping me and His peace flooding through me. Love—without it life is not living, it is existing.
Wow, what is love? To me, love is a hug from my twelve-year-old. It’s my parrot nuzzling up to me, closing her eyes and feeling safe. It’s my husband going out in a storm to get me some homemade chicken soup when I’m too sick to even get out of bed. It’s the sound of my mother’s voice, listening and not judging. It’s the smile of a baby. It’s watching my parrot’s orange feathers glow while he looks toward the sun. It’s the warmth of a spring day. It is a teen telling me she loves my stories. Mostly love is being in the presence of loved ones and knowing they have my back.
I have given serious consideration to the question “What Is Love?” The title of the hymn Love Divine All Love Excelling came to my mind. For members of any religious faith surely this concept of God’s Love is powerful. I was taught to pray to God for my daily bread, but as I grew older I wanted to please Him by serving Him instead of asking for anything. Surely the purest form of love is unconditional.
My love for my children, grandchildren and others is unconditional. I want to give not take from them.
And now St Valentine’s Day approaches with its connotations of romantic love. In my opinion real love is based on wanting to please the loved one more than one wants to please oneself.
Love makes the world go round, is a cliché, but I’m not ashamed to use it. Without love for others both human and non-human this world would be an even unhappier place.
All the best,
Dawn Knox author of the upcoming: DAFFODIL AND THE THIN PLACE
Love is... not very easy to define. It can be different things to different people and can change as a relationship changes. Looking at my own marriage of 38 years, my husband is my best friend and the one I know I can rely on for anything - however mundane. Of course, falling in love is wonderful - an all-consuming passion which is unlike anything else a human can experience but gradually, if you're fortunate, this subsides to become a more profound and steady relationship. To describe it as a fire which first burns brightly, then smoulders, does it an injustice as it implies a decrease in intensity and therefore in value. That's a shame as the first heady experience of love doesn't demand a great deal of effort and is its own reward but building a loving relationship takes time and thought.
One event that comes to mind occurred many years ago, when I attended an evening class at a local college. I had to park in an unlit field as the car park was full. It was light when I arrived but when I came out, it was pitch black. I was frightened of going into the field on my own but had no choice. Then, a cheery voice greeted me. It was my husband, who'd walked to his parents' house to borrow his father's car and driven to the college to see whether I'd managed to park in the car park. Having found our car in the field, he'd waited to escort me to it as he knew I'd be afraid.
The many examples of his love over the years haven't involved red roses or chocolates but in quiet and thoughtful ways, he makes me feel cherished and that sort of selfless care is what love is all about to me.
Kenneth Hicks and Anne Rothman-Hicks, Coming Soon: THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM
“What is love?” I said, reading the MuseItUp Sunday Musing for the week. “Finally, an easy one. I have this one nailed, Anne.”
“Really?” Anne said. She sounded a trifle skeptical.
“Yes. The answer is SEX.”
“You numbskull,” Anne said. “Love isn’t sex. Love is Robert Browing asking ‘How do I love thee, let me count the ways.’”
“You see. He was reading the Kama Sutra. He was speaking in – what are those words that say one thing but mean something else?”
“Love is not a euphemism, Ken! Love can’t be defined at all. It can only be described.”
I may have rolled my eyes at this point. Anne persisted.
“Remember the other day when I was handing you the glass and it dropped between us and we both apologized to the other and almost bumped heads trying pick it up first? That’s love.”
“I’m better at picking up glass, that’s all.”
“And remember when I hurt my leg and you stayed home to take care of me because you didn’t want some stranger doing it? That’s love.”
“She probably would have stolen all our stuff.”
“And remember when I had the promotional idea for our book and you thought it wouldn’t work, but then it turned out it would work, and you said you were sorry and that it was a great idea all along. That made me feel really good. That’s love.”
“Hmmmm. And when I wake up in the morning and, after 44 years of being together, I’m still happy to find you there beside me?”
“Has it really been 44 years? I asked.”
“And counting,” Anne said. She smiled. ‘Why are you looking at me that way?”
I may have been grinning at this point. I tend to grin at certain times.
“Hey, keep your hands to yourself!” Anne said, laughing. “Hey!”
As always, thank you Musers, and thank you our Muser readers and friends. During such a bitterly cold winter as we’ve been having, a moment of musing warm fuzzies is just what I know I needed.