10 August, 2010

THIS THING CALLED LOVE (From Left to Write - Book Club)

"I just can't have you calling it adrenaline, when it was love.  It was love.  Big love.  And I've held onto it all these years..."

by Maddie Dawson

The word "love" is so slippery sometimes.  I've heard it said, (because there is so much of it?) that Eskimos have 26 different words for snow... and I often think we humans - with our complicated emotions, jealousies, desires, hubris - need at least double that many words for love.  Those four simple letters, two vowels, two consonants... well, they just don't seem big enough to hold all the meaning inside.  All the hurt.  All the joy.  And all the confusion.

Like all feelings - sorrow, happiness, fear - love is beyond verbal definition.  How do you know you're happy?  You know when you feel it.  How do you know you're in love?  You just know.  Or do you?

The love that we're so sure of in high school can turn out to be merely a path toward discovering your sexuality.  The love that we're so sure of in college can turn out to be a stumbling toward figuring out where you will most easily be accepted.  The love that we're so sure of in our mid-twenties can turn out to be an attempt to make a statement of what our life should be, grasping whatever (or whoever) is nearest that we think might fit that vision.

And always, in the moment of love or of passion or of wanting-to-be-wanted, we think "This is it.  This time must be the real deal."  And often, with the bittersweet weight of hindsight, we think "Ah. Well.  Suppose that wasn't the it I thought it was."

“Quod me netrit me destruit.”
("What nourishes me also destroys me.") 

Love can, at times, feel like a drug - pushing us to the limit, allowing us to soar higher than the heavens and then, just as quickly, tossing us like a ragdoll onto the cold, hard pavement and driving us deep into those dark depths... and yet it is amazing how quickly and how readily we are willing to pick up the torch again and begin forging another path through its jungle.

For more quotes collected from this book, visit Borrowing Wisdom.

Disclosure: This post was inspired by THE STUFF THAT NEVER HAPPENED by Maddie Dawson. I received a copy of this book to read and discuss as a member of From Left to Write.   The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own.  Click here to purchase your own copy of this book.


  1. Raging hormones versus true love is a problem that needs a litmus test. And you are right, we fall down and get right back up and try it again. Kind of makes us look not too smart...kind of like Annabelle.

  2. Great post. I so related to Annabelle when she said that Jeremiah was her "Kryptonite". I refer to one of my old "loves" as my heroin. Is that really what love should feel like?