J. A. McDougall

Writing from Calgary.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On Being Loved

By Jennifer McDougall

All of us are better when we’re loved.

The final line of Alistair MacLeod’s novel No Great Mischief (1999).

The offer of open arms
A gentle hand warming our own
Encouraging words
These gestures of caring
When are they love?
When are they pity?

Object of admiration
Source of pride
Centrepiece of amusement
Are we loved
or are we simply desired?

Love confounds us.
Often confused
with passion and enthusiasm
with support and protection
with appreciation and loyalty.
Its source fleeting.

Love is craved by all,
yet it cannot
be created,
or be purchased,
or demanded.

We show kindness and respect
behave deservingly
declare our love for others
hope it will come back to us
but in the end
we have little to do with it;
love is a reaction
inspired purely by our presence.

Love percolates
over time
within another person’s soul,
to which we have no access.

To witness this unique sensation,
we wait patiently,
pay keen attention
to barely visible indicators.

When we glimpse it
(perhaps tipped off by our need for it, but more often not)
love appears
a bended elbow,
a sigh of gratitude,
a fascinated gaze.

The signs and sounds
of love
greet us long before
the words
I love you
are spoken.

We recognize love
without confirmation
we know love because
it is a message of joy
sent directly from the soul.

Love slips back into hiding
as work and play return to centre stage,
life goes on,
but this emotion remains
beneath the surface. A foundation
every interaction we share with that person.

To be loved is to be left
brimming with contentment
and peace,
so that we may inspire goodness in others.
And then, we too
are better again.


Blogger Martin Heavisides said...

I'm trying to check out other people's blogs now that I've got my own. I see it's been a little while since you've posted here. (I'll have to do some catching up at CWC as well I think.) You know the Cole Porter song?
"Is it an earthquake or merely a shock?
Is it Granada I see, or only Asbury Park?
Is it a fancy, not worth thinking of?
Or is it at long last, love?"

5:37 PM  
Blogger Martin Heavisides said...

I hope you check these messages, because I attempted to zmail to invite you to a game of revelation tag--details on my most recent blog, 8 1/2, on The Evitable--but was told neither J.A. McDougall nor Anne McDougall existed. Will try a few other variations, but perhaps you'll get this message.

5:08 PM  

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