I love you once
I love you twice
I love you next to Jesus Christ
I always release raucous laughter whenever I recite the above-mentioned verse. It was a verse known and fancied by most children throughout childhood. To the adults, especially the god fearing ones it was a blasphemous verse. We were taking the Lord’s name in vain. But how could that be? There was nothing else to measure our love against except the few times we decided to share a fried dumpling or sweetie (candy). Those two items were topnotch to children in those times. Treasured as much as salt was centuries ago. Not easily given away. Perhaps that was the ultimate love. Kindness. Sharing.
I am here sitting and writing, without rehearsing anything about love in my head. At this moment in time I am just going with the flow of thoughts. In the end it may be a rant, wisdom or nonsense. Back in the day we used a plant we referred to as “love bush/love weed” to find out if the person we thought we were in love with was also in love with us. That plant is called the dodder. So here’s what we did: we gathered a handful of dodder and threw it at a desired spot. We then spat on it and whispered the person’s name. If the dodder grew in abundance it meant that the person was in love with us. But here’s the truth, the dodder would never die because it’s a parasite. Any itsy bitsy piece will grow.
Many decades have gone by since the dodder experiment and I am still confused about the definition of love. I have heard about: strong love, divine love, ultimate love, love like a lizard lying on a tree limb, love like how flies swarm honey, love like ripe mango, love that will leave someone tongue-tied, love until one becomes a fool for love, love to the moon and back, unrequited love, love on hold, sour love, platonic, intimate, romantic and more. The most frightening love to me is when a man says to a woman that the only way he can prove his love to her, is to have her engage in sexual intercourse with him. What kind of love is that? Is it a crash course in making little feet? Or, is it just a letting off of backed up desires. Love is a verb. So perhaps many have taken it literally to its core.
The decision is, whenever love is determined, please let me know if the definition lies in the growth of the dodder and its flaming color. Or, the phallic. Or, if it is an abstract.
Tah-tah! I see what I see.
Grace Dunkley-Asphall, Copyright © 2021