A Love Not-Poem

The word “said” is usually the best choice when writing dialogue.
People choose “capitulated” or “sighed longingly” or “harrumphed”
but often the most powerful and most perfect choice is simply “said.”
That’s what I think about I love you.
I tell you I adore you (and I do)
I tell you I am completely in love with you (and I am)
but often the most perfect way to express the life-altering bliss you bring to my life is simply those three words.
I love you.
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Love is

Love is driving through sickness to hold her when she’s sad.

Love is calling to sing her a song in the middle of the night.

Love is driving to spend the weekend with her family.

Love is making her dinner AND doing the dishes.

Love is doing things you’re nervous about because you know she wants you there with her.

Love is putting yourself first.

Love is going to bed too early.

Love is learning to trust that “I love you” can be something gentle and patient.

Love is holding your nephew as often as possible.

Love is answering the phone when you want to let it go to voice mail.

Love is asking for support.

Love is sitting quietly while you both take time to think and to write.

Love is learning to be patient when you want a turn to talk.

Love is listening to the soundtrack of a show you’ve never seen, just because she wants to share it with you.

Love is dressing up in fancy clothes to take her out for a date.

Love is picking him up at daycare when she needs a little time to herself.

Love is saving her the best seat in the show and sitting one seat over.

Love is telling her what specifically she says and does that makes your heart feel full.

Love is waiting for a turn.

Love is trying new things just because you know she loves them.

Love is waiving the debts from loved ones when you can afford to do so.

Love is pausing whatever is going on so you can hear her voice and say goodnight.

Love is listening to her stresses even when you’re battling your own.

Love is choosing to stay home alone when you need to.

Love is watching her eyes to see when she needs space and giving it to her without her needing to ask.

Love is finding a lucky penny and giving it to her.

Love is collecting stones and stories to remember your adventures together.

Love is setting aside your projects just to listen sometimes.

Love is saving her the last bite.

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Love is, I think, a collection of moments. Most of them small and seemingly insignificant. Tiny toothpicks stacked together, reaching up into the sky. Small moments of making coffee and tidying the living room and looking at photo albums and writing cover letters. Moments of reassuring roommates and picking raspberries and washing clothes and paying bills. Moments of setting up a projector to watch the LEGO movie in the living room. Waiting for your computer to restart and looking over the top to see her tousled hair and furrowed brow and wondering at how life presents you with such gifts – such exquisite moments of loving her and seeing your life shift to become our life. Taking one small step sideways to see the view has completely changed and now an entire vista has opened before you. You’re looking at the same world through the same eyes you’ve always had but somehow everything looks so different now. Colors are brighter and more vibrant. Things that might have driven you crazy before no longer have the same hold over you.

You can breathe easier and let things go.

Book #7

all about loveFrom Goodreads: All About Love offers radical new ways to think about love by showing its interconnectedness in our private and public lives. In eleven concise chapters, hooks explains how our everyday notions of what it means to give and receive love often fail us, and how these ideals are established in early childhood. She offers a rethinking of self-love (without narcissism) that will bring peace and compassion to our personal and professional lives, and asserts the place of love to end struggles between individuals, in communities, and among societies. Moving from the cultural to the intimate, hooks notes the ties between love and loss and challenges the prevailing notion that romantic love is the most important love of all.

Visionary and original, hooks shows how love heals the wounds we bear as individuals and as a nation, for it is the cornerstone of compassion and forgiveness and holds the power to overcome shame.

For readers who have found ongoing delight and wisdom in bell hooks’s life and work, and for those who are just now discovering her, All About Love is essential reading and a brilliant book that will change how we think about love, our culture-and one another.

Why This Book: This book has been on my “to read” shelf for a very long time. How long you ask? When I pulled it off the shelf, I found a receipt tucked inside from 2001 when I purchased the book in Northampton, MA. I’d say 13 years is long enough…