I’ve written recently about movies and dreams, so it’s time I wrote about love. I know all about it, and I’m sure my readers are interested.
Much of what we know of love we learned from movies and dreams. You can quote me on that.
However, I know about all three, or at least I have experienced all three on a visceral as well as an ephemeral level (sometimes all at the same time -- wait, that's not quite possible. It just seems like it is). Romantic love, spiritual love, platonic love; romantic movies, action movies, suspenseful movies spiritual movies, laughable movies, lovable movies; romantic dreams, waking dreams, nightmares, memory dreams, wishful dreams, action dreams. There is something about them all that is the same. Love, dreams and movies.
For one thing, they all engage us in another reality, something out of the ordinary. They require a leap of faith. With dreams, it is easy. The mind does it for us. In love, we are challenged to do it ourselves. And in movies, the studio does it to us, with lighting, sound tracks, special effects, and larger than life angels, as Colin McGinn calls them in The Power of Movies – the actors – to look at.
Here’s something I wrote about love several years ago:
Love is a word that has baffled those of us whose mother tongue is English ever since there was such a language. For one word to encompass all the meanings of love is probably as limiting to the emotion itself as it is to the attempt to define it. This impoverished vocabulary may have contributed to the emotional restraint of the English. Mother love, romantic love, love from a grandchild, love of life, love of God – are these things the same?
Love is not necessarily an emotion. It is more likely the substance of the heart, the source, the sustenance of the spirit, the food behind all that is positive in human existence. It is unquestioning sacrifice, unrequited mercy, unsolicited grace.
Pretty good, as far as it goes. It will have to suffice for today as I’ve got things to do, and it’s hard to do much when you’re in love – or even thinking about it.