Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Power and Strength of Love

Never doubt the strength and power of love. The love which comes from another is not always recognizable. But when it is real, there is no doubt and the feeling curls around your whole body as if it wants to find a place to get in. Then it goes in deep.

Several times in my life I've felt the real thing. Once it came from my dog and when he figured out that all he had to do was look at me, he used it often. I became butter on a hot dinner plate.

Well into the decade of my undoing, I was dealing with a whole lot of anger and had two new friends who took me under their wings and helped me through the difficult time. When my anger got a hold of me, they took it in stride and let me be, spots and all.

More recently, I felt the same thing when two new friends allowed the sadness I was experiencing after two major losses. When I could barely put one foot in front of the other, I felt the sensation of something powerful holding me up. These spiritual giants were in fact angels.

I've heard the words I Love You spoken when it meant something, from two men, one my son, the other my fiance, the latter for the first time at age 62.

Love has many faces and takes many forms. It's a cloudless day with a light breeze and two palm fronds slapping against each other as I walked by, as if they were applauding me. I knew what that meant. I felt it viscerally. It's the sudden rush of passion for that someone special you haven't seen since forever back home again. It's everything beautiful and wise and whole, it's a connection to all the good surrounding you.

Thankfully, I've been the beneficiary of this love. I feel it where I work and when I'm driving my car and listening to the Boston Pops. I feel it when eating chocolate and when my head first touches the pillow at the end of the day. I know love. I've melted down into it and, touched by its warmth, became someone brand new. I've also collapsed in its absence.

I recommend you never doubt its strength or power. And when you chance to meet it, give some of it away, share it, and slide around on the dance floor with it. Swim with it and nourish your spirit with it. It will begin to grow on you and more and more and more will come your way.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Nothing tells the truth as much as the face. Along longitudinal and latitudinal lines, our faces tell a history that words cannot.

Aging isn't what I thought it would be at all. I always wondered what time would imprint on my face, what collection of stories would gather to let people know me and to see for myself who I’ve become. I never wanted to get nipped or tucked because that would not tell the real story. And it’s been quite a story.

But each day I see myself in the mirror, I wonder how it all happened. New lines joining up with another set of lines, like little squiggles a child would draw, appear almost daily. I buy the gels and creams and more new ones appear. But truly it doesn’t bother me the way I know it bothers others. For one thing, I don’t have to look too long at my face. I certainly could use more exercise and stay away from sugar. But I don’t. The only thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t get people looking at me the way they used to. Other than that, I feel comfortable enough in my skin so that what others think of the way I look is inconsequential.

Last week at the grocery store, I saw a woman whose face was radically disfigured. Her lower jaw was set far into her neck and her mouth stayed wide open, like the famous painting of the Scream. While I didn’t stare, I couldn’t help but take a second glance. There was little in the way of movement in the rest of her face. She was middle aged and it was troubling to look at her. When I got home I thought she might have attempted suicide. I had seen a young man who attempted to kill himself with a gun who looked much the way this woman did.

She was probably used to people staring at her and feeling sorry for her. I just went about my business and thought how lucky I was to have everything in place. I got a new haircut a few months ago and it makes me look younger and feel good.

The face is what we see first, then we get to know each other. The latter is what matters the most to me.