What Does Love Look Like?

Activity Being Avoided: bookkeeping
Music In My Head: It’s outside my head: listening to old Fink songs on YouTube
Tea Being Drunk: just water. Sorry.
Book Being Read: Bastard Out of Carolina–Dorothy Allison; Passing By—Jerzy Kosinski

A few days ago, an acquaintance posted this question on her Facebook page: “What does Love look like?” That struck me as an odd question, so (of course) it’s preoccupied me for almost a week now. When I Googled “love”, there were a lot of pictures of hearts—the stylised kind, not the bloody red squishy kind.

Googling is often a disappointing activity.

I’m still not sure what the correct answer is, so I’ve made a list:

The question was posted on the day one of my cats died of cancer. That day (and, still, today) Love looks like the wasted, reeking body of a dead tabby.

Love looks like a message icon on my phone, telling me that my parents have phoned to offer sympathies about the cat (despite knowing me since the instant I was conceived, and therefore knowing how much I despise the phone on a good day).

Love looks like the text message from my best friend, who knows to text rather than phone, especially when the matter is a dead cat.

Getting off the topic of the dead cat…

Love looks like this:


I don’t know what kind of love David and Jonathan actually had, and it doesn’t really matter to me. Adi Nes captured it all: brothers, friends, kindred spirits, lovers. To me, this just looks like Love.

Love looks like the first photos of my children—wrinkled, red, blotchy and scrunchy—because in their entire lives they have only evoked love, even if it’s frustrated love or irate love or you’re-so-lucky-I-love-you love.

Love looks like the slowly decreasing numbers on a blood pressure monitor, the day after a man has had a heart attack, as he talks and laughs with his children; Love also looks like the numbers plummeting to almost normal within five minutes of his spouse walking into the room.

Love looks like the candle-lit bath, along with a book and a cup of tea, that I’ve drawn for myself after a long day.

Love looks like a big stack of books.  No, that’s not perverse.

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