Monday, February 28, 2011

giving love words.

I've been reading bell hooks' All About Love and it's reminding me of the texts we read in Cheever's class back in high school: these philosophical texts that don't really tell you anything "new," yet hearing/reading them for a second/third/fourth time brings something new based on the new context I'm living in at the moment. All About Love is hooks' examination at the definition of love in our society nowadays and how perverse it's become. She posits that we need to redefine love together to heal our broken society.

Sounds a little preach-y, right? It could be, but I find her words fascinating.
Youth culture today is cynical about love. And that cynicism has come from their pervasive feeling that love cannot be found. Expressing this concern in When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough, Harold Kushner writes: "I am afraid that we may be raising a generation of young people who will grow up afraid to love, afraid to give themselves completely to another person, because they will have seen how much it hurts to take the risk of loving and have it not work out. I am afraid that they will grow up looking for intimacy without risk, for pleasure without significant emotional investment. They will be so fearful of the pain of disappointment that they will forgo the possibilities of love and joy." Young people are cynical about love. Ultimately, cynicism is the great mask of the disappointed and betrayed heart.
And, you's true. What's fascinating about hooks' words to me are how undeniable they are. In reading All About Love, I'm discovering how to acknowledge and accept how much I myself have rejected the concept of love based on what society has created of love. In understanding this, I'm understanding something new about myself as well: I'm understanding that the cynicism I'd come to accept as fact are the product of a guarded heart--guarded to the idea of love because it was often equated in my mind with hurt or disappointment.

Anyways. This could either get really personally and sappy or really distant and emo. I think I'll just leave it as is. Every time I pick up All About Love to read, even if it's just a page or two in a week, I feel this heavy shadow lifted off my shoulders. For just a moment, love and hope are returned to my heart and I think the strength of the person who shared this book with me is also sharing with me her heart, despite how broken she feels as well. That inspires and moves me to overcome any darkness.

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