“Blessed is the influence of one, true loving human soul on another.” – George Elliott
Human beings have always been in love with love, or at least the idea of it. It is an emotion that is difficult to define – prone to clichés and lusty panting in Red Rooms. The softer side of love, its true soul, is more challenging for a writer to communicate to their readers. Why is this so?
Perhaps, this is because humans are prone to negativity, fear, anxiety and all the adjectives and adverbs that present themselves so easily to describe these emotions. Our natural tendencies seem to go in the direction of chaos and upheaval. Many people like to read about these subjects, so the writers who can create these novels provide what their fan base wants: dark, turbulent stories of murder and mayhem. We are entertainers, after all, and there is nothing wrong with filling this need.
I think it is much more difficult to find the words that describe love because it is often unquantifiable. I am referring here to love as a positive, uplifting emotion. You know when you have it, but may grasp for the words to define it. And have modern day readers and writers, at least in some books I’ve read recently, not confused love with lust? Lust is the hot emotion that courses through a character’s veins, driving them to all manner of indiscretions. We could use many of the same words to describe hate, the powerful force behind many poor decisions. Maybe lust is the true opposite of hate.
Love is different. Love is the emotion that takes over the whole body, the heart and soul. As such, maybe it clouds our brains and makes the search for description more elusive. We know what it feels like, but we struggle to find the exact word in the same way we can’t remember what we were looking for or why we walked into that room in our home. We stand in the center of the room feeling foolish, even though we’re alone and no one knows.
Love often makes us silly. It makes us laugh at nothing, and sing when we are tone deaf. Maybe this is the easiest way for a writer to communicate love, by describing the by-product. Unrequited love brings tears in the dark and poetry on napkins, but rarely a vendetta. Leave that story line to lust.
There is nothing silly about lust. It is a primal need, an animal desire that begs to be quenched. It can drive a man mad and mess up the best-laid plans. It can distract and consume.
I want to read about love in all its manifestations. The best story I’ve read recently was about a dad taking his daughter fishing. Readers need this story and others like it, full of sweetness and family. The words of love can be soft, woven into a tapestry of feeling that doesn’t need to shout. The words can whisper.
Write me a love story. Write me a poem. Write me a lyric that makes my heart skip a beat and you will own me forever. Here are some of my favorite quotations of love. Enjoy!
“Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breath and to love you.” – The Hollies
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you … I could walk through my garden forever.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson
“Life’s greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved.” – Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
“Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.” – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
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L. A. Lewandowski is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited and author of the novel, Born To Die – The Montauk Murders. For more information, please see the IU Bio Page and her blog:cultureandcuisineclub.com.