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On Love

A short reflection on the ways I fall in love.

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Sanskrit has 96 words for love. Arabic has at least 11. There are four in Greek. Yet here I am with just one.

One feels like enough for me though. Especially when there are so many adjectives and ways to describe the different kinds of love I experience. Love is my love umbrella.

I am a falling-in-love expert, an outlier even. It’s simple, everywhere I look I find something lovable. I can fall in love with a beautiful piece of paper, or a song, or the color of a person’s eyes. Green are my favorite. And because it happens so often and feels hopelessly temporary, I’m usually not shouty about my affections.

Romantic love feels a bit like a cloud. It’s vaporous and difficult to grab hold of as it passes through with the wind. I’ve learned to enjoy observing the shape and quality of each meandering cloud while trying not to be precious about it as the weather changes.

My love of beautiful objects runs deep in my curatorial veins. It’s remarkably easy to fetishize the handmade imperfections of something crafted with artistry and skill. Outside of museums however, these beautiful things all have a shelf life. And I’ve seen many of them come and go.

There is probably nothing easier to love than nature. It’s utterly remarkable in its complexity and depth. I find the crushingly sublime feeling of standing where the waves crash on the shore to be the simplest, most inevitable love. What is more alive than the seashore?

The love between true friends is pure and egoless. I feel lucky to have people in my life who readily celebrate great accomplishments, make me laugh until I feel sick, and who were by my side while I scattered my mom’s ashes. Kinship reminds me that I am not alone even on the days when it feels that way.

The ever-present love I have for my children still catches me off guard. Loving something on a cellular level is difficult to describe in words. Feeling a life growing inside your own body is nothing short of miraculous. And looking across the table at increasingly-awkward, near-adolescent children while they sip tea and read books fills my heart to bursting so much so that I often laugh and shed a tear simultaneously.

In all its forms, love feels gut-wrenchingly bittersweet. It’s the very painful aspects of love that make me capable of feeling the most beautiful.

I am in love with love.

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