I have been mulling over what Love really is, and while I do enjoy hearing the words “I love you” spoken to be freely by friends and family, coerced or over used they lose their meaning. Let me try to explain.
My father rarely said I love you to anyone and for much of my life he was the stay at home parent while my mother ‘worked’, he worked too by the way, he just didn’t get a pay check. He paid the bills, made sure there was enough money (to the penny) in the checking account, did the dishes after cooking dinner, and wrote poetry. When I first started teaching and getting checks from people for my work, he would deposit them into the bank for me.
Also, my mother didn’t feel deprived because she worked outside the home, neither did she really gain extra satisfaction in her work. She did it to make sure we had a roof over our head, and food on the table. I always had music lessons.
My brother was also a poet, and a father in later years, as well as a dog lover. He and his dog would take long walks together and have adventures, and later my brother’s son would walk with them and all the dogs they acquired. There was a deep devotion between my brother and his original dog, a small cockapoo. Ralph was a tough dog who lived to 18 and fathered some 45 pups.
I loved my parents, and even my brother. BUT, we never said it to each other, it wasn’t a part of our being. No, we did it, and that is what I have been thinking about. Hearing those words, ‘I love you’, is really nice, but they are not really the “love” I think the world needs. It is the action that is needed, the doing of love rather than the what seems to me now as glib words without the action. Love is what you do, not what you say without doing, and you can do love without saying it, as well as over saying the words “I Love You” thereby making them meaningless.
“Love is a Verb” is a book I read many years ago now, and it also says love is what you do. SO, those of you who long to hear the words “I Love You”, think about all the ways you show love to people, animals, etc, and how love is shown to you. Now how does all this match the given word Pamper? Well, along with being showed love by my family, I was indeed pampered, shielded from the realities of this world, that often senseless horrors happen natural and man-made. I was cared for far beyond my 18th year, I was given a chance to take my time to become who I am, and I appreciate that.
Today I discovered a huge (about 2 inches in diameter with legs, body about an inch diameter) wolf spider in my kitchen. It was hiding in the lower part of my window and I finally evicted it. I caught it and put it outside. Was this an act of love for the spider? As I left it outside on an old tree stump, I wondered if the Pampered spider, having lived all its life in my kitchen, would be able to live in the outside word? I might see in coming days, who knows.
Below is a poem by Kanji Miyazawa about love. I like it and think we should think about it more, especially now as the world becomes more and more scared of the other, those not like us. I wish we could think less about fear, and more about what love really is. To me it is what you give freely without expectation of reward. That is so hard to really do for don’t we all expect to be noticed somehow, to be rewarded for doing whatever………
STRONG IN THE RAIN ( Ame ni mo Makezu )
|Strong in the rain
Strong in the wind
Strong against the summer heat and snow
He is healthy and robust
He never loses his temper
Nor the quiet smile on his lips
He eats four go of unpolished rice
Miso and a few vegetables a day
He does not consider himself
In whatever occurs…his understanding
Comes from observation and experience
And he never loses sight of things
He lives in a little thatched-roof hut
In a field in the shadows of a pine tree grove
If there is a sick child in the east
He goes there to nurse the child
If there’s a tired mother in the west
He goes to her and carries her sheaves
If someone is near death in the south
He goes and says, “Don’t be afraid”
If there’s strife and lawsuits in the north
He demands that the people put an end to their pettiness
He weeps at the time of drought
He plods about at a loss during the cold summer
Everyone calls him “Blockhead”
No one sings his praises
Or takes him to heart…That is the sort of person
I want to be