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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Loving Ghosts & Strangers

Love has been defined into pieces, broken, mutilated. It's a gift denounced and mispronounced like a foreign tongue. It must know how God feels.

I've wondered lately more about how love works and less about its particular chemistry or duration. I want to understand more of what forms it takes, how it moves.

This curiosity is due to my noticing frequent BURSTS of "love" for others, near- or perfect strangers when something they've created causes a warm stirring within me, a feeling which ranges from deep enduring appreciation to a brief obsession. I don't have to be physically near the source. I only need exposure to a person's mind which can initially arise from words or any form of artful expression, but once the connection is made, some essences are suddenly free to move about and can appear to me from out of nowhere.

I can feel a person's mind/soul in a painting or essay, a photograph they're in or connected to, an inanimate object they've touched or a song. The feeling can be so strong for these minds I hardly "know" that suddenly their essence envelopes and inspires me to speak out loud to an otherwise empty room, "I love you." It makes no sense.

This phenomenon leads me to believe that love is ubiquitous, a ghostly ethereal breath which flows in and around us when the portals of our souls are open. It is not as a ping pong ball exchanged between a mere two, but an intoxicating vapor infusing welcoming space, free to those who expand comprehension of this love to "All" rather than the weak and fragile "I".

We'll never place this immortal vapor in a jar or hang it on a wall; it is as God has been described, an energy with no circumference but a center everywhere.

Maybe these individuals to whom I feel an immediate connection are other like minds, soul mates, or mirrors of shared traits. In this everywhere of love, these likenesses can share the same space in an instant despite the sometimes great physical distance between them. As Richard Bach once said about loving others, "There's no such place as far away."

The feeling transcends all space/time because I've shared this euphoria with lost loves - a mother, brother, best friend and others - those lost only due to a physical disconnect, which seems to intensify the spiritual connection.

I've felt it when reading the words of those long dead, Sylvia Plath entering my dilated pupils as the intuitive twinge of her husband's infidelity is finally confirmed, "The truth loves me."  I felt it with Henry Miller's admonition to "Forget yourself" in order to be fully present.   I felt it as Michel de Montaigne gripped my soul from his 16th century post, "There is, beyond all my reasoning, and beyond all that I can specifically say, some inexplicable power of destiny that brought about our union."

Invisible limitless transit seems the preferred mode of passage for ubiquitous love - a spiritual plane where our souls move about freely, appearing anywhere sans time. Love has no limits, it cannot die; it needs no words, airplanes or maps. Love knows what it knows without need for proof or reason as it travels along messengers called you and me, tiny familiar posts connecting along the path of forever. This energy surges through us all.

And I love the feeling of being carried away.


  1. brava! interesting that the excerpt i read of this completely described, for me, the intense feeling that can be aroused from various inspirations, so much that we can feel love for something we can't identify, and when i read the full version it honed in on a broader topic, doing similar justice in revealing it.

    my absolute favorite quote (though it varies from source to source)was Mary Shelley: "Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos."

    that concept has always touched me; we attempt to figure out how things are derived as opposed to considering that they may be a constant of which we are already a part, whenever we choose to accept it.

    i so enjoyed this!

  2. I'm glad you posted the link to this piece on sixsentences because it's really worth reading the unabridged version. It's a wonderful subject to ponder and you expressed your feelings so beautifully. I believe humans are many times over recycled material. Perhaps that spark of love is one of recognition for tiny pieces of yourself.

  3. I guess in those moments you describe, for me when I feel the spark in a picture, paragraph or from nature, those are the moments I feel most in like/love with myself and connected with the world in general.
    great piece.

  4. Jeez, Teresa, I didn't know you had this site! Love? You sure got me. I do know that what is most often called love is merely a desire to consume. Also, the word has been so cheapened over the millenia that my first reaction to it is, "Let's see your ID."
    So often, what evokes a feeling in me is something that tickles the corner of my eye and then lights out for the territories. Here and then gone. I do love putting the right words on paper. And people who can make me laugh? Love 'em, love 'em, love 'em. What else? Probably lots, but it's 7:40 am by my clock, far too early for me to be breathing, so I'm gonna wrap this up and go get some coffee.

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  6. LOVING GHOSTS & STRANGERS: Enjoyable for the way it turns this jewel among emotions; and how the facets sparkle. Love is a complex: to survive the conflagration of a great love, we may speak of wounds and scars which may influence our future. To be in love, to be consumed by it ‘truly, madly deeply’, borders on serious illness; distorts judgement and may even produce physical symptoms of joy or distress incapacitating enough for a time or a lifetime. I lean towards the theory that love is symptomatic of a selfish gene hell bent on replication.

  7. This is beautiful. I have a friend who is just so passionate/empathetic to life and I envy that - to see love in everyone, being able to find it in the darkest of hearts. This made me think of him the entire time.

  8. The tear of an old man, the smile of an old lady, the confusion of a small child - momentary instances that can cause something in the heart to leap forth and bind you forever, so that years on the memory and the warmth can return without warning. I heard about a young woman with Downes Syndrome, whose powers of speach were very limited, who looked out a car window one day and said "The sky goes all the way home" - as clear as a bell. Finger on the pulse - or what?!