So complex. Nothing touches the human heart more than the notion of perfect love, and really I believe it is one of our greatest life quests. Isn't that why every movie has it as a central plot, and every book I read tries to define it. Most of us grow up looking for it first in our parents and siblings and then through friendship, intimacy, defining our faith, and then with our own children. The cycle goes on and on. Some of the most recent examples of love I've enjoyed reading about in books.
In The Wednesday Sisters friendship is the expression of love that nurtured a belief in self. Leaning on each other, taking turns being strong, stepping in to fill the gaps where family should have been responsible.
In The Help I read about love through justice. Doing what is right to help people on this Earth with no voice. It often puts us outside our comfort zone. It might require us to turn away from beliefs passed down to us by our culture or our families. We might find that a precious few share our convictions, or are willing to do anything about the injustice they perceive.
Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet reminded me of the connection that many cultures share requiring obedience as the ultimate symbol of love. In this story obedience was taken to the extreme and was incredibly oppressive. I think most people cringe at the notion of obedience. We turn from it the moment we are born. Human beings want to wander through life at their own whim, making their own decisions, without any consequences. We want love without sacrifice. At the root of obedience is trust. That's a hard thing for a lot of people to do. To me, without obedience the world becomes shades of gray with no real right and wrong. It devalues life experience, the wisdom of those that have traveled the road before us, and leads to a life where we become our own god. Obedience isn't limiting, it is loving and unselfish and wise.
Snowflower And The Secret Fan painted a picture of "Mother love". Life is hard, and so they loved their daughters by teaching them to endure through hardship. Although I couldn't disagree more with this being their only way to express love. It struck me, as I read the book, that I often error on the side of gentleness and compassion. I also want to be the mother that isn't afraid to let my children experience some of the hard edges of life, and be consistent with enforcing responsibility and duty even when it is difficult for both of us. It also painted a beautiful and often painful picture of love through loyalty, even when undeserved.
Love is certainly a rich topic. I wonder what thoughts about love this post brings up for you?
Have a wonderful day...Holly