21 May 2012

For the Love of...

There's been a lot going on lately. Between Mother's Day, this guest blog post, the death of my husband's grandmother, and a friend's beautiful beach wedding all within four or five weeks, love has been on my mind. I've also been playing this song over and over again:

There's too many things I haven't done yet
There's too many sunsets I haven't seen.
You can't waste the day wishing it'd slow down
You would've thought by now
I'd have learned something.

I made up my mind when I was a young girl
I've been given this one world,
I won't worry it away.
Now and again I lose sight of the good life
I get stuck in a low light
Then love comes in

How far do I have to go to get to you?
Many the miles, many the miles.
How far do I have to go to get to you?
Many the miles
Send me the miles
I'll be happy to
follow you.

That's just the first part of the lyrics, but it fits me so well it's scary. Although I have those dark moments, I tend to worry very little. Sometimes the only thing I worry about is whether I should be worrying more. Then love comes in. I think my lack of worry comes from an abundance of love. I see it everywhere. I feel it everywhere.

Love is one of those tricky things. I had an email conversation with a friend about this recently. We try to quantify and qualify our love. We label it and separate it, careful not to mix the different types because... what? We're afraid of the implications of love, I think. We're afraid of what it means to admit--to ourselves or anyone else--that we love someone. If you're married or seeing someone, what does it mean to love someone else? I love him like a brother. I love her like I love all of my closest friends. Labeling it a different type of love feels safer. Loving someone doesn't mean you want to jump in bed with them, or marry them. It can mean those things, of course, but not always. We create this division of love in an attempt to define relationships and stake claims on each other's hearts.

We separate love into compartments and say It's okay to give X amount of this type of love, but only to one person. Or We can give a lot of this other type of love to all kinds of people because it's different, and it's not love love. And also, I will feel threatened by this type of love from this person, but not that type of love from that person.

But you know what? It's ALL love.

I'm not saying there aren't different types of love. The way I love my husband feels a little different than the way I love my kid brother. Or the way I love some of my friends. And yet there's something the same about it, too. A sweetness. A blissful feeling. An indescribable something that makes me happy whenever I think of a loved one.

I love a lot of people. I've always loved easily. I've debated whether it's a selfless tendency or a selfish one, because I can't deny that it feels good to open my heart. That doesn't really matter for today's post, though, because the point is still the same. 

Love begets love.

Our capacity for love is bigger than we give ourselves credit for. Once you've given it, you can choose not to give any more, but you can never take back what you've already released into the world. Acknowledging, accepting, expressing love doesn't take away. Not from you, not from anyone else you love. It just makes room for more love to grow, which you then can give again.

There is another point to this, besides me just waxing poetic about love. I've been involved with a project the past couple months, and I know some people may not understand why it's so important to me. But the answer is love.

Indies Unite For Joshua is a worldwide group of independent authors, publishers, filmmakers, and artists rallying to support a fellow writer.

Joshua is the 21-year old son of author, Maxwell Cynn. Max writes speculative fiction, science fiction, and romance. His son has been diagnosed with Acute T-cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia. The cancer has invaded every part of his body: brain; spleen; liver; lymph nodes; and he has a mass in his chest. Joshua has had to suspend his studies while undergoing aggressive chemotherapy and will not be able to graduate this semester. With three-and-a-half years of a 4.0 GPA toward a degree in philosophy, his peers and professors consider him brilliant, as of course, does his father. Joshua would have been the first person in Max's family to graduate college. 

To learn more about this amazing young man, read Max's incredible post.
I donated a guest blog spot to the campaign perks, and I recorded a short video to encourage support for the cause. Not to mention the tweeting and posting on Facebook that you may have noticed. Here's the thing, though.

Like most people involved in Indies Unite for Joshua, I've never actually met Joshua, or his dad. I know his dad from online communities like Twitter, and I think he's a great writer. I consider him a friend. As I say in my video, I care what happens to him and his family. How can I feel so strongly for someone I don't "know"?


I'm not a religious person. I don't pray. That has always been a foreign concept to me. What I do is love. I let it fill me up, I seek it out, I give it away.

To Joshua, and to David (Max) and Tricia: I love you guys! You are in my thoughts, and I'm sending your family all the loving vibes I can muster.

Now how about you? Are you ready to open yourself up to a bit of love? All it takes is a share. A tweet. A post on Facebook. If you're able, a couple dollars. One supporter has been giving two bucks a day. Could you do the same? We have 10 days and $1,100 dollars to go to meet our goal of $10,000. Click the Metallica baby picture above, or the widget in the top right sidebar to go to the Indiegogo site to donate.

For the love of Joshua, what can you do?

Back to the Sara Bareilles song from the start of this post: How far do I have to go to get to you? Many the miles. Send me the miles, and I'll be happy to.

Joshua, when you're better, send me the miles. I'll come down and buy you and your parents a round of drinks. Or two. :-)