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This ties in to the column I wrote for the church newsletter; if there's interest, I can post the newsletter here as well in a while (under a cut.) (That means I have to have requests for the newsletter to be posted on my LJ)

"Oh, we're not dating, we're just friends."


Just? My best friend and still one of my closest friends is Trygve, who is male, and we have never dated. There have been times between bad relationships that we've idly wondered what it would like to date someone sane, i.e. each other, but we both were happy with being friends. I love him dearly, even though I only get to talk to him about once a quarter.

There's love between friends as well; I've witnessed that love save a life in the past few weeks. I don't get where the "just" comes in. I love my friends fiercely, although it can take quite a bit of time to get close enough to me for me to consider you a friend.

Somehow, the word "love" has been translated into something that only happens when there's sex involved, although it's OK to love your kids. Philios, the love of friends, has been sadly discounted and ignored in our society. And that's not only sad, I think it's tragic.

The human capacity to love has been discounted and narrowly defined. This has greatly diminished the power of Love. I love my spice, I love my daughter, and I love my friends and will do everything within my power to help when they are ill or in danger. Sometimes that means finding the right people to actually provide the help; sometimes it means making my house a safe space, sometimes it means showing up with a pot of soup. Sometimes it means telling a friend something that they don't want to hear, but need to know.

Valentine's day is a Hallmark holiday. I don't celebrate it, except to give a gift to my daughter. Love shouldn't be confined to a day, or the bedroom, or any other strictures. Love is so much bigger than that. How have we allowed it to be so narrowly defined?

Personally, I'm expanding my definition of Love. I'm going to make sure that my friends know they're loved and cared for. The isolation of the modern world makes it all to easy to become impersonal, and I'm tired of it. I love my friends, and that doesn't mean that I'm always going to be sticky sweet. Sometimes, it can even be kind of harsh. But it comes from the fact that I care about these people, and they're important enough to me that I should be able to acknowledge it without feeling bashful about it.

And without drinking Budweiser.

I don't know everyone on my friends list well, but chances are, if we've had significant interaction, I love you guys too.

So there.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
teal_cuttlefish
Feb. 14th, 2005 11:33 pm (UTC)
Re: *claps*
Thank you.
shadowpryde
Feb. 14th, 2005 10:40 pm (UTC)
Well-spoken ... nail on the head kind of well-spoken.

And, si, I'd be interested in the column.

-Draconis Leona-
teal_cuttlefish
Feb. 14th, 2005 11:33 pm (UTC)
I'll format and put the whole newsletter in a public post after I get the email and snail mail stuff done.
nematoddity
Feb. 14th, 2005 11:16 pm (UTC)
Well said. Totally agree with this. I figure, if people stick around long enough, and I haven't managed to completely alienate them yet, and they're persistent and I trust them...that's friendship. If I feel the urge to protect them, if I am loyal to them and their sense of identity and integrity...that's love.

I don't quantify that by who I'm sleeping with. That's semantics. Cat's my wife, yes. I love her, yes. She's my center. It doesn't mean there's no room for anyone else.
teal_cuttlefish
Feb. 14th, 2005 11:32 pm (UTC)
Precisely.
lilithschild
Feb. 14th, 2005 11:35 pm (UTC)
Take a bow dear. That was wonderful:)
teal_cuttlefish
Feb. 14th, 2005 11:45 pm (UTC)
Think maybe I ought to unlock this one? I'd have to edit the last paragraph slightly.
lilithschild
Feb. 14th, 2005 11:54 pm (UTC)
Yes, it is extremely thought provoking:)
teal_cuttlefish
Feb. 15th, 2005 12:11 am (UTC)
As you wish.
dyrecorn
Feb. 15th, 2005 12:06 am (UTC)
I totally agree with you here.

Not that you have anything to love me for but evil puzzle links. ^_-
teal_cuttlefish
Feb. 15th, 2005 12:11 am (UTC)
Those were very evil puzzle links.
ferelwing
Feb. 15th, 2005 02:53 am (UTC)
Bravo!
I agree 100%!

I know that I love you more everyday that I know you honey! You're one of those really WONDERFUL people. It's sad that we don't say "love" that often to friends. It hurts deeply that we so badly define it in the modern world.
teal_cuttlefish
Feb. 15th, 2005 06:02 am (UTC)
Re: Bravo!
You know, our relationship has been one of the oddest, interrupted, intimate getting to know each other. One of these days we should arrange to be in the same state at the same time.
ferelwing
Feb. 15th, 2005 08:45 am (UTC)
Re: Bravo!
Yeah it has... *laugh* Well Russ and I were planning a trip to CO during the month of March but it fell through. We've decided that perhaps during the summer we'll attempt it. If I do turn out to be heading that way I will let you all know in advance!
psychi_
Feb. 15th, 2005 03:25 am (UTC)
I too want to chime in with my agreement:) It's a wonder that more people don't understand this concept.
teal_cuttlefish
Feb. 15th, 2005 06:01 am (UTC)
That kind of love doesn't sell diamonds and chocolates. So it gets mostly ignored.
psychi_
Feb. 15th, 2005 10:38 pm (UTC)
Very true ... but I don't like diamonds ... though good chocolate is hard to find.
kovee
Feb. 15th, 2005 08:24 am (UTC)
You, are wise beyond your years and need to write a book. I would read it.
teal_cuttlefish
Feb. 15th, 2005 09:00 am (UTC)
I have a lot of years to be wise beyond...but I have Divine inspiration, when She isn't kicking me in the ass.
dragon_smoke
Feb. 15th, 2005 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this. I agree with what you said. I also feel it is a shame that people think it is OK to center their expressions of love around Hallmark holidays. When you love someone, you don't need a reason to say it or show it.
pirate_fae
Feb. 16th, 2005 07:41 pm (UTC)
Agreed...
I've been making more of an effort to tell my friends that I love them on a more regular basis. It's easier with some than with others, often becuase of *their* level of potential discomfort.

I love you too. We don't have as much time to spend together as I might like, but the friendship survives...and that's such a blessing. One of these days I'll get that e-mail to you (maybe now!) to get your address so I can stop by when I'm going to Sunflower.

(((hugs)))
(Deleted comment)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )