“Love is a force, but it is sometimes called a feeling. When we imagine that love is a feeling, we may be disappointed because we notice that we cannot keep any feeling up and running all the time. A feeling is an intense, immediate, sensate/physical experience. Feelings have a beginning, a middle, and an end; love is ongoing. Feelings are responses to specific stimuli; love is the stimulus and response at the same time. Love can be a state of being, a fond sentiment, an ongoing bond. All of these have an enduring quality. Thus, love, since it lasts beyond its instances of expression, includes and happens with feelings rather than is one.”– David Richo, How to Be an Adult in Love
I am in love with love. I am in love with locking eyes from opposite sides of a crowded room, fingertips brushing wrists, gentle kisses in the soft light of early morning, whispering I love you’s when you think they’re not listening. I am in love with cheesy romantic comedies, the ones where true love makes the impossible possible and there’s a happily ever after. I am in love with others in love, watching my best friends smile after they kiss, matching mood rings align when their fingers interlock, shared cheese boards and hotel rooms and rosé hard cider.
Undoubtedly, my fascination with love was born out of a broken home; it’s hard not to dream of fairy tales when that seems like the only universe in which a family unit can exist. I spent the better part of my youth chasing the love that I watched play out on screens, blue light like a hypnotist’s pendulum. I still have to remind myself to sit still.
I am a strong believer in the fact that love is a choice. People can fall out of love as easily as they fall into it. But loving someone – that’s sustainable, if you choose for it to be. As comforting as the sentiment may be, it’s also terrifying. If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past several years, it’s that the conception of love is a unique thing. Everyone is molded and scarred by their own experiences. Reciprocated, equivocal love can feel like an impossible quest. (Sometimes, I think I’ve found it.)
This edition is all about love. Romantic, platonic, unrequited, head-over-heels love. Love in its endless number of forms. The good and the bad; the new and the old. The world is not all pretty, but sometimes it can be.
Published in Edition 3 of The Dilettante.