All You Need Is Love ~ The Beatles

My Heart
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I hold this truth to be self evident: If I start thinking about the meaning of love after midnight, I can kiss sleep goodbye. Especially if the subject pops into my brain even though I am in my pj's, the lights are off, the TV is off,  Denzel is off (Denzel is my laptop), my fan is making its soporific sounds, and I am tired. And sick - did I mention I was getting sick? I am getting sick.  All of that should equal a shut down of thought processes and quality z's.

Instead I am thinking about love. Quotes about love specifically. John Lennon wrote that "love is the answer, and you know that for sure." I have seen another quote, and I am not sure who to credit for this one, that says something like, "What's the answer? Loving. What's the question? It doesn't matter, loving will still be the answer."

Lily Tomlin once said, "If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question?"

I, personally, am unable to form a more solid conclusion on love than this:

 1. When it comes to romantic love, Harlan Ellison had it partly correct, "Love ain't nothing but sex misspelled." As much as I would like to elevate it to a higher level, romantic love involves a certain degree of chemistry and attraction that sullies it. Not that romantic love isn't swell.  It is. You just can't speak of romantic love in the lofty terms of LOVE. You know? LOVE? If it meets such lofty terms, it's more than romantic.

2. Humans are imperfect and so love imperfectly. And so therefore don't truly love.  We can only offer our best approximation. And that is what must always be kept in mind. What I have to give, what we all have to give is our best efforts. Generally, we all give a lot less. And there is the added complication that best efforts are unique to each person. My best effort is not your best effort. The next person's is neither of ours.

Do you have a headache yet? Can you at least see why I am not sleeping?

I dropped out of Calculus in high school because Mr. Moses tried to explain to me Zeno's Dichotomy Paradox. I was so upset, I almost walked out of class that day. I thought he was trying to say that it was impossible to measure the distance between two points. Clearly, measurement was possible. It happens everyday! How far is it from Point A, St. Louis, to Point B, Tucson? That is measurable!

What he really was referring to was this: What's half the distance between St. Louis and Tucson? And what's half of that? And what's half of that? And what's half of that? And what's half of that? And what's half of that? You get the picture. I am sure I am oversimplifying to the point of incorrectness, but it is a paradox that resonates with me. It's explained simply in the movie, IQ. Here is video explanation(I only listened til 1:30 because after that it gets all boring and mathy):

Love seems like something you can quantify. You can. You also can't. Once you start to examine love, it breaks down into seemingly infinitesimal segments. A paradox. You can say, "I love you" and mean it, but you can't. There is no end to love. No way to travel the distance between your heart and the heart of whom you love because the distance is infinity.  Does that make sense?

Here are some questions:

Is it more important to be able to love yourself or to love others unselfishly? Are the two diametrically opposed? Intrinsically linked? Can you love in one way without the other? Can you love in both ways?

Is it possible for romantic love to last forever? Or does it transmute into a more true and pure love? If the romance fades do you lose love for that person altogether?

Am I the only who reads the following passage and thinks, "I have never in my life seen real love?":

"Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of injury. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." ~ 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a

Here is another question: Can we accept at face value the statement, "I love you?"  Is that sacred enough to be trusted when uttered?

"To often we have reached out in what we believed to be love, only to recoil in awe at its power to collect tyrants and cause pain." ~Source unknown. (Possibly Jonathan Swift)

My final sure conclusion is that I am both cynical and hopeful about love. Agape, Eros, and otherwise.

What about you?