SO I TAPPED ON THE mic icon on my Android phone and asked Google to define love. Before I get into the crux of the subject matter think if you will what it means for a phone to verbally define something as complex as love. Human kind has grappled with this question for centuries now without coming up with a definitive answer. So now we have phones that can without a doubt answer this very thought-provoking question in a matter of seconds. Do we accept the answer or continue to seek wisdom and understanding for the meaning of love on our own?
Fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy (aka human physical relations), attachment, and endearment are the synonyms that Google came up with. That however is not what we are looking for. What we want to know is what does love mean and how is it defined. With another tap on the mic button I repeated my query to Google. You have to admit demanding a satisfactory answer from a cell phone is a bit disconcerting not to mention may leave one to conclude I have issues.
Nevertheless the definition Google seems to stick to is that love is an intense feeling of deep affection. I find that definition lacking. Google also insists on using the word love in its definition of the word love. Weren’t we taught in school not use the word we are defining in the definition. I guess we will just have to take it Google is not aware of this rule and go about the business of discovering the essence of love on our own.
Love is unlimited when applied to a life-long partner or in some cases a pet. Love for inanimate objects is not really love. That feeling you feel inside you when you are around that person or when they are not near you is an all telling sign. You care not to be without that person in your life as they are an extension of you. Is that a definition of love? Probably not!
Scores of songs have been written about this subject each treating it in a different light or context. The only non-love song/love song that failed so miserably on the subject was Tina Turners (not exactly the most prolific writer of our time) during her not so classic song “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” In this less than classic song Tina proudly exclaims “love is a second-hand emotion” along with the other ingenious line “who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?” Sorry Tina not only was singing off-key but the thoughts behind her words were baseless as well as wasted verbiage.
The best love song that seems to hit the nail on the head was the hauntingly beautiful (both lyrically and vocally) Both Sides Now as written by Joni Mitchell and expertly re-recorded by Judy Collins. The song centers around the theme of having looked at love from virtually all angles only to conclude (as many of us already have) that we really don’t know love at all.
Simple as in Beatles Love Me Do Simple yet so very much more complex than that. The love I feel for my wife of nearly 30 years is an indescribable feeling. Love would be the only appropriate adjective, noun or verb. No matter how you term it. My parents (of blessed memory), my sister, my older sister (of blessed memory, my grandparents all of whom I love and loved dearly. It was that feeling deep inside that told me what the feeling I was feeling was. That’s love!
Juice the cat is my best friend (outside of my wife) and my companion (outside of my wife) whose eyes define love. That squinting look in conjunction with her rhythmic purring tells me all I need to know about how she feels about me. My giving her of my attention along with the scratching under her neck or pats on the head (not to mention feeding and changing water and her litter box) emit to her a strong signal of love. Yes, you can love a pet along with a spouse or other relative almost in the same manner.
If you were privileged enough to see Fiddler On The Roof either on Broadway or in film you would be familiar with the song that the character Tevye continually asked his wife Goldie as they lay in bed on night the magical yet sometime elusive question Do You Love Me? At the end of the song after many factual statements from Goldie as to the state of their marriage and family she admitted that after twenty-five years of ups, downs, and everything else that yes she loved him and he of course loved her in return with nothing that could or would change that. The hold bond of matrimony.
By my count (okay my computer’s count) this article is closing in on 730 words (soon to be exceeded I’m afraid to say) but we still have not clearly defined love. Google couldn’t do it and I highly doubt Microsoft can either. Suffice it to say Love is a feeling that words will never be able to capture.
Now go ahead and tell your special somebody in a soft spoken bold voice that you love them and always will. Just say I LOVE YOU! The person you say it too will understand.