What love? What’s love got to do with it? I don’t want to know what love is. Love is all you need. The power of love. It must be love. Love me, love me, say that you love.
It’s a very sung about word. It seems to be at the heart of everything. That’s exactly where we place it, actually. The heart. The thing that makes the blood pump, the oxygen flow, and keep yourself alive. You know your heart is important because you can feel its pulses all across your flesh. Pressed against your belly, I can’t just hear your pulse, but mine.
I think I’m in love, but I don’t know what that means. I feel love for so many people, and feel it returned often enough to keep me awake and alive. But that’s different to the topic here. The it is different. The it that may or may not be love.
It’s incomprehensible, but intuitive. You know you’re in love, but you don’t necessarily know what it means. If you’re into flowery prose, you can probably describe it, or at least sell it (perhaps to yourself), but prose just tends to get in the way of actual knowledge. That’s why I so often feel like a sisyphus of nonsense. Every idea I push to the top of the mountain just disappears in a puff of nothing. If I turn around, it’s still waiting for me at the top.
But I don’t let that stop me.
I don’t know if you can ever know. I’m the wrong person to ask about this, the resignedly optimistic skeptic. I don’t believe that anything is knowable. I sit here in my pile of nothingness, and I figure that the shadows of something-ness that I percieve may as well be the world I treat as real. There doesn’t seem to be another viable option.
So I don’t believe in love, but when I’m in it. When it surrounds me. When I feel myself opening up, and drifting in the amniotic fluid of someone else’s life, surrounded and blissful, constantly light-heartedly obsessed, I know something is happening.
As indescribable as life, love just is. You don’t know it. You feel something, and you can sit and question it forever.
Because on some level, it isn’t anything. I think you just have to deal with that. Some combination of chemistry, self hypnosis and social conditioning put you into a certain state. You crave something enough that you build it.
It’s a lie, built on shaky foundations.
But it’s more than that. It’s not just a lie, it’s a myth. It’s the grade of mental material upon which we build our understandings of life. We make it a mystery. We want that mystery. We need that mystery.
And that brings people together, brings happiness, and builds futures.
If you don’t know, don’t worry. Just be, and feel, and move forward together.
Let love be love, and you be you. Within each other.
Illustration by Henry