Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Love is.....



Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I Corinthians 13:1-13

This has always been one of my favorite bible verse, next to "Jesus wept," which I tend to say now instead of cursing. I learned that verse by heart when I was young and had to recite it in church. I did not think of all it might mean to me in my life. And of how it distilled the meaning of life into a few lines. The Bible is an amazing work of art.

This post is about love and the uses of the word and its accompanying prepositions. In our collective speech there seems to be a big difference between loving someone and being "in love" with someone. As far as I am concerned there isn't a difference. The word police have co-opted the word "love" to mean so many different things. There is romantic love and parental love and platonic love and and and....
There is only one kind of love. It is when you respect another, care for another and show up for another. I am in love with so many people. For me, that means that we share that love - we are in it together. I am in love with my children, my old man (I love 70's phraseology!), my mother, my mamas, my friends, my sister. I am in it with them. We love each other and we share in the taking care of each other.

Why write this post? Well, tomorrow is the shared birthday of two of my greatest loves. My sister and my husband. I love the way Geminis are in my life. They are no nonsense, straight to the point, generous, impatient, brilliant, funny, sarcastic and lovely. A bit about each of my favorite Geminis.

My sister was born when I was five years old and NO ONE was happier than me. I wanted to take care of her and hold her and make sure she was safe. She did not feel as lovingly toward me. She hated being doted on by me. She refused to hold my hand in public and she made fun of me and got me in trouble all the time. But I loved her from the moment she breathed. I was in love with her - still am. Last year when I was very sick I did something very difficult. I picked up the phone and asked my sister for help. I asked her to come and take care of me because I couldn't do it myself. There wasn't even a pause before she pulled out her calendar and told me when she could be there. My sister and I don't have a mushy relationship. In fact, I get a hug a year, on special occasions, or when she lets her guard down and I steal one. It is a joke between us. But hugging and smooshing doesn't make love. Being there makes love. And she is there for me like few others.

My husband was born five years before my sister. He is the one Grace picked for me from half a world away. Hubby is not effusive in his love either. I have to remind him to kiss me or hold my hand, and to quote my friend M:
"If I was married to a normal man, I would go crazy. [my husband] lovingly ridicules me at every opportunity, and I am charmed. Once in a blue moon, he treats me like an ordinary girl and tells me I’m beautiful and how in love with me he is, and that is the longest, most painful day of my year."
So true. Yet, he is exactly who I need in my life to keep me grounded and supported. After nine years of marriage he has grown weary of my go-to excuses and calls me on my shit time after time. Gotta love that in anyone! Quiet as it's kept nothing makes me happier than to be challenged. Everything - my thoughts, opinions, stupid actions - all of it. It makes me grow. And I am more fully myself for having been married to this man.

Love is. Powerful. Simple. Amazing. And all there is. Tell me who you are in love with. I want to know the joy in your life. Here is mine. Happy Birthday to my loves.

We are blessed may we recognize the blessing.

in peace

Photo: neuza teixeira

2 comments:

Brandi said...

I'm so anti blog BUT I like this one...thanks Keisha :)

Minkgirl said...

Okay, for starters, I am in love with you! I can't believe how much we are alike. The 1st Corinthians passage is my all-time favorite bible verse. I too have a Gemini husband (and a Gemini son!) who generally kicks my ass and doesn't let me get away with anything. But I think you are more grateful for this than I am. I still can't quite believe that this is my lot - that these are the people I attracted to me. I can't help wishing they were a little mushier sometimes.

Oh, and another thing - Toni Morrison's 1st line "Quiet as its kept, there were no marigolds in the spring of 1947." is my all-time favorite line of prose.