Monday, August 2, 2010
What Is This Thing Called Love?
-- Anaïs Nin
The other night three of us got into a conversation about love. It was interesting because the three of us ... each intelligent, educated women of a certain age with an abundance of life experience ... couldn't define love. Of course we were handicapped trying to use a word that describes everything from our fondness for purple to the way we feel about our children. So what is this thing we call love?
It started me thinking about some of the reading I've been doing in quantum physics that shows that particles, once bonded, are always linked and can instantly communicate over distances regardless of how far. Perhaps love is that process of bonding that, once it happens, is forever and always. The people we "love" (bond with) are with us always, they are always a part of our heart, a component of our cellular memory. They are part of who we are, connected in a deep, physical way even when we are not in the same location and no longer "in relationship."
Years ago I made friends with ... bonded with ... a woman who woke up something in me. The friendship was pretty dysfunctional but I hungered not only for her companionship but for the new vistas she opened up within myself. When we finally drifted apart, I realized that I would always love her, that she would always hold a special place in my heart even though we no longer spent time together. I would not be the person I am today if I hadn't met her. So, maybe that bonding process is one of recognition ... not just recognition of the other person but a recognition of a piece of ourselves that the other person brings with them. Each friend opens up a new world within us. And, once that world is open, it is forever a part of us.
Some people pass in and out of our lives leaving little trace. We might truly enjoy them and consider them friends ... or even family ... but, for whatever reason, they do not become a part of us. Others, almost instantly, are bonded to us forever. Call it chemistry, call it karma, call it propinquity. Perhaps it doesn't matter so much how this bond ... this love ... happens as that it happens and that we honor and cherish it.
Yesterday I pondered the possibility that it might be the flow of information that holds our 50 trillion cells into the shape we call a body. Today, I wonder if it might not be this bonding process of "love" that provides the linkage that allow the information to flow. Maybe love truly is what holds us all together ... not only figuratively but literally.