Sunday, October 30, 2005

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Love is a lot like money--you're miserable when you've got it, and miserable when you don't. Love is a four-letter word, and like other four-letter words, it can evoke pleasure, pain, laughter or tears and virtually any other element of the emotional spectrum one can imagine. Ships have been launched, wars have been won and lost because of love. Alfred Lord Tennyson said "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." Vincent Van Gogh was very likely driven to cut off his ear for the sake of love, which he described as "...something eternal, the aspect may change, but not the essence." And Dr. Karl Menninger, the noted clinician, knew the curative powers of love, and said so: "Love cures people--both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it." It's sad to realize that some people never get love, and some never recognize it when they do. Even more disheartening, I think, is to realize the essential sadness of going through life without loving. We'd all like to be loved back. But the opportunity doesn't come often. Maybe in the meantime, the thing to do is use opportunities to love, because it would be almost as sad to die without ever saying "I love you" to those you love. After all, love is an endless act of forgiveness.