The Many Shades of Love
In a world inundated with images — where the most casual observer is confronted by flickering television screens, flashing banner ads, and animated billboards — it’s easy to forget that words have power. Some words and phrases are considered profane because humans once believed that spoken and written language possessed supernatural abilities. To speak the name of one’s deity was to call upon its might and magic, which was not something to be done lightly.
Even the most secular skeptic who’s felt love knows that words still have power. There’s hardly a man or woman alive who hasn’t soared or crashed based on a casual comment from the object of their affections. No matter how great the sex is when lovers first meet, their ability to identify and communicate mutual interests and values will determine their ability to remain close, whether that be as lovers or as friends.
This is a topic that’s been much on my mind lately. It seems as though nearly everyone in my circle of friends has been in relationship transition lately which is, of course, a fancy way of saying “breaking up.” In this sometimes infuriatingly linear, serial monogamy world that we live in, this is generally interpreted as meaning that things have ended. That the experiment has failed. That love don’t live here anymore.
As I sat down to eat Thai food with The Keeper of the Darklady, my friend and bountifully beautiful blues singer Candye Kane (www.candyecane.com), and Evan, her handsome and talented son from a long ago love affair, there was no way that I could believe such a thing to be true. As I drank red wine and discussed the transformation that comes from loving with D/s chronicler Galen (www.galensrealm.com) and his pretty palomino dream, I grew firmer in my suspicion. As my gal pal Piph explored the boundaries of her patience while helping me navigate the torturous waters of my fears concerning a changing relationship, I became convinced.
When two or more people say “I love you” to one another, a series of cascading events take place. Each person has a unique idea about what love means to them and how a lifetime of love should unfold. Society, of course, has its own changeable definition and expectation, influencing each individual and affecting the odds that any partnership will survive – and in what condition. Fate further tests the mettle of love by introducing circumstances that can harm or heal, depending on the flexibility and compatibility of how each person has defined the expression of their affection – and what compromises they are willing to make in order to continue to express it.
Especially during this time of impending war and hostilities, I think that it’s important to contemplate and be aware of the many shades and flavors of love. Contrary to what greeting cards and evangelists would have us believe love – even lifelong, healthy love – is a changing and challenging thing. This is because people, especially healthy people, change and embrace challenges as they grow. Love, quite naturally, must adjust to accommodate that growth. Fortunately, although love is not a one-size-fits-all garment, if worn carefully, it can stretch to fit.
– Originally published in Playtime Magazine –