What Is This Thing Called Love?

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If the world is ending ~ fall in love with every aspect before it is gone. Take this as a sign to finally let it hurt, and let it burn, and let it be beautiful all over you.
Try not to harden your heart. Politely refuse the darkness until you are not scared of being impolite and looking it in the eyes and saying “Not today. Not now. Not here. I am too busy letting my heart live.”
Hold on to strangers and friends and lovers and ghosts…Do not wait until your final moments to embrace the light. Let things move you. Be patient with your mind. Do not destroy yourself because there may not be much time left ~ do the harder thing and rebuild.
We are not society’s expectations, we are not the constant flow of information we receive, we are not modern zombies ~ we are spirits yearning to find freedom within the constraints of a society that has never loved us. Yet, the world has always loved us ~ so love it back. It is here, waiting for you to see it. Waiting for you to show up.
It is still here. We are still here. Make something of it.

~ i.e. kali ~


A four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, ‘Nothing, I just helped him cry.’

We are born with naturally soft hearts. After years of training we learn how to build and maintain a shell around it. That’s called being normal. We develop a kind of hardness, an ability not to feel pain, at least consciously. Life overtakes us eventually, though. Wounds and injuries accumulate. Our strategies to sidestep pain only serve to cut us off from living our human inheritance with honesty and depth. We make ourselves unnecessarily superficial.

Not feeling our feelings, not letting ourselves suffer walls us off from joy. Delight and pleasure are connected to pain via a receptive openness. If we sever that link, we make ourselves smaller and weaker than we would otherwise be.

I was surprised to learn how artists, people I admired for their sensitive responses to the world, can also be cruel and indifferent to the suffering they cause. Not many escape the system we are born into. We are taught ambition, survival of the fittest, which we incorporate into our mental picture of life’s rules.

I think the purpose of a culture should be to foster human sensitivity to everything. Our culture’s exclusive focus on something called success requires us to be less humane than we would naturally be. Our system ignores the suffering it causes in the natural world. It doesn’t notice how the human soul is violated in the process, how we have normalized injustice and cruelty in our daily lives.

How did we learn to avert our eyes when a homeless person comes into view? How did we learn to work for a company that is poisoning the earth? Well, we do have to survive, don’t we? There’s a mortgage to pay, kids to feed. We can’t afford to be shedding tears for the less fortunate.

This is how we devolve from soft hearted children to monsters. This is how we end up putting brown children in concentration camps. This is how we deny health care to millions. This is how our cruelties seem normal. Our society’s perverted logic has pushed our naturally soft heart aside and has jumped into the driver’s seat. As a result the world is burning.

The revolution we need is a revolution of kindness. This is not news. Every founder of religion has said the same thing. We just have a hard time hearing it.

Some are saying the present time is different, that people are ready to change. I hope that’s true.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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