Friday, August 6, 2010

Love Is Exactly

"Love is exactly as strong as life." - Joseph Campbell

* * *

It strikes me that the fucked life is one without love. It is this absence, more than anything else, that fucks you. Strength of character, the sure sense of knowing who you are, of what you are capable of, is impossible without love. Love isn't something added to life, a topical ointment to soothe the days - it is life itself.

Do you not know that already?

Love is exactly as strong as life. If your life is fucked, if it is a weak sister, a parody of what you'd intended ask yourself about the love in your life. Not the kind you receive, but rather what you give away.

I saw a bumper sticker that made me laugh with its concise formulation of the above:
Love isn't about finding the right person - its about being the right person.

But the love of your partner, your husband, your wife, your lover, the love the two of you share is only one aspect of the love I am talking about. For some the love of another redeems their lives, makes them whole, makes them strive to be who they are, allows them to see love, in its larger sense, as pervasive. For others, like me, that river flows in a different direction.

When I see and know and am part of this larger current, this pervasive, universal mystery - consciousness, desire, being awake - when I recognize it as love, then I am able to my love offer to those close beside me. I am unfucked.

Listen to Campbell again: Love is exactly as strong as life.

The stronger your life, which is your fullest self, the complete expression of your desire and knowledge and presence, the stronger the love in your life. Cheat your life and cheat your love. It is all the same.

* * *

The afflictions of life - physical calamity, emotional betrayal, the capricious thieving of chance - are matched, are over matched by love. If your life is fucked it is because you have not loved your life well enough to fight for it. It is one thing to know there is something wrong, something missing, and another thing entirely to do something about it. The fucked become snails on a salt lick - all shriveled up and dead on the inside.

Love is exactly as strong as life, and strength is not measured by how much you can lift, how much you can carry, but by how much you give away.

Theodore Roethke in his poem I Knew A Woman asks: What is love for?

The answer, unwritten, is still clear: to give it away.

* * *

You want to unfuck your life? Then love it. Love it beyond all thought of being loved. Love it beyond the reach of outside circumstance.

Love is exactly as strong as life.

How strong are you?


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