I've thought a lot about love this year. Agape love. Romantic love. Heartbreak. Passions. I've even written a few heartbreak poems this year (which I don't typically do and rarely share because I'm not a fan of heartbreak poems, but it sometimes feels good to pull pain out of my being and leave it on paper) and several other love poems (because every poem, essentially, is a love poem, right?). I'm currently reading Madeleine L'Engle's poetry compilation The Ordering of Love.
I suppose it's my year of love. And I suppose it's kind of nice to have a year of love without a romance in my life. Maybe it will help me put love in its proper perspective.
Speaking of perspectives on love, I heard the song "My Love Goes Free" at the end of a film a few months ago and weeped for an hour. The film's story and my story collided with this song, and I was moved by the intensity of it all. I learned that Jon Foreman wrote this song for his wife. I initially thought it odd that he'd write such a beautiful love song for THE woman in his life where the chorus says, "If you love her let her go."
I'm used to LeeAnn Rimes belting out, "If you ever leave, baby you would take away everything good in my life" or PM Dawn proclaiming "I'd Die Without You." I'm not used to love songs saying, "my love goes free." But these other popular radio hits are songs we could sing to food and water--things we consume, devour. And these are the songs that make us think we love someone?
What a warped web of love we spin!
I found a quote where Foreman explains his thoughts on love, talking about another song he wrote ("Enough to Let Me Go"):
I was thinking about how love (not just lust or codependency that commonly flood the tunes on the airways) actually involves quite a bit of faith. There’s a lot of letting go involved. Two souls in love is an intricate dance of give and take. I can be a fairly solitary person from time to time. Sure, I love being with people, but I also need time alone. I guess I thrive on the poles. So this song is about the dance involved in a relationship the coming together and letting go. The song equates love with breathing- pulling in and releasing. Or a seed, for the seed to grow it has to be dropped and buried.
In our barcode media, love is often portrayed as consumption. As consumers in a commercial driven culture we can begin to view other souls as objects, or potential cures for our deepest fears and insecurities. “Perhaps if I found the right lover I would no longer feel this deep existential despair.” But of course no human soul could be the Constant Other, the face that will never go away. Only the infinite can fill that role. But the silence can be deafening. It’s a fearful thing to be alone. Do you love me enough to let me go? “I can’t live without you”- “I would die if you ever left me”- These are not the songs of love, these are the songs of consumption.
So beautiful. Divine love is so freeing. God created us to release us to the world--to let us go and love us whether we choose God or not. I like this thought on love. And I'd like to live more fully into the pull-and-release of love in any future romances, in my friendships, in the way I love the world.
Would love to hear your thoughts on love.
May we all love freely.