{ Friday, February 14, 2003 }



[ This has been februarium. I've really, really enjoyed the challenge and the story-telling involved with this collab. But I think I've enjoyed reading all the other writers so much more. Tygerchild put together an amazing collab. It has been so neat.]

Ask anyone from my high school class to define love. Immediately, without a second thought, they will say "unconditional, positive, self-regard for another".

Probably in a voice and meter that clearly illustrates that it was by sheer rote memorization that those words were forever emblazoned in their archives. [I tested this theory. It took Jeff twenty seconds to IM me back the definitiion. And he had Cascade Dishwashing Detergent in his eye at the time, and also bothered to attribute it back to the priest and the year that it was taught.]

We had to memorize a lot at my high school. Including one entire glossary. And I am sure that while the entire list of Fruits of the Spirit or Beatitudes may allude some people, "love" was one I don't think anyone would ever forget. "Love" and "Grace". They were the two shortest ones. And as a kindness, they were on every quiz.

Unconditional, positive, self-regard for another. I try to love everyone, at least a little bit, which I get doesn't quite meet the unconditional part, but work with me here. A priest wrote that definition. It's fallible. And we were told we couldn't accomplish it, it was something reserved completely for dieties. And I am trying to answer a nearly impossible question.

"Love is shown in your deeds, not in your words." I have that quote hanging in my room. A constant reminder that if I feel love for someone, I need to act on it. I need to remember that what I do is how I love. Not how I feel.

I love because it's fulfulling. Because, while it's not all you need, it's almost enough. It'll get you past most of the rest of everything.

I try to love everyone, at least a little bit. It's nice to be able to do that for people. It's hard sometimes. It's hard to be kind all the time, even at the expense of yourself. But most of the time? Most of the time isn't so hard.

If I care about a person, I can't help myself. I love because the only other way I could act would leave people feeling marginalized and hurt. I love because I know what it is to not be loved and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. It's so hard to be in a time of need and not feel loved. "I do it for the joy it brings."

I don't have much of a compelling sense of duty. I really don't. But I think that going through life giving as much love is possible is something that I do because it's just *right*. It's the right thing to do. Absolutely. "love like it's never going to hurt, and dance like no one is watching"... An absolute truth. You'll get so much more from life that way.

So, I love. Because it's easy. Because it's nice. Because it's fulfilling. Because it's what I want to come back to me.... and it's the right thing to do.

posted by mary ann 12:51 AM