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Published on February 14th, 2013 | by Donna Martin


The Meaning of the ‘L’ Word

Excerpts from A Valentine Article in the New Smyrna Beach Observer circa 2000. 

“She felt as if she were standing in a radiant silence where sight was her only capacity and his face was its only object, and the sight of his face was like a speech in the form of a pressure at the back of the throat,” Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged.

Has love ever been expressed more passionately?  How I feel about love is not as poetic, a little more practical maybe and yes, even a little corny. But almost as passionate.

Love is when Thor (my Norse god of thunder, my Indian god of strength and wisdom) brings me fresh coffee in bed every morning and usually delivered with a kiss…it’s that killer smile that shows his dimples and a wink from across the room just out of the blue (and not often enough, either).

Love is standing shoulder to shoulder in the moonlight that is streaming through the palms on a summer night silently communicating through our spirit when words would just get in the way.  I feel the force of his energy, strength, and magnetism until it almost brings me to my knees.  It’s watching him sit under the old oak tree in the backyard,  not a care in the world,  with a contented and relaxed look…love is running my hands through his steel black wavy hair, that American Indian hair, it’s his grin, his artistic hands at work, how he baits a hook, makes a table, takes a sliver of glass out of my foot,  or etches glass, or writes his romantic  stories.  Love is his scent, so sweet and unmistakably him.  When he’s on the road, I like to take his shirts to my face and feel his presence.

Love is when he doesn’t hog the remote, when he cleans the kitchen in the middle of the night.  It’s his ability to overlook my inability to sometimes see his side of an issue.  It’s praying for his safety thousands of miles away as he climbs another high voltage electric pole and tempts fate one more time.  Love is surrendering him to God, releasing him, letting him go, to have him always return.

Celine Dion sings it like this, “When the storm rises  up, when the shadows descend, every beat of my heart, every day without end. I will stand like a rock. I will bend ‘til I break, ‘til there’s no more to give, if that’s what it takes…I will fight, I will bleed. I will lay down my life if that’s what you  need…”

Erich Fromm in Sane Society states, “Love is often nothing but a favorable exchange between two people who get the most of what they can expect, considering their value on the personality market.”

Katherine Hepburn, in Look Magazine said, “Only the real plain people know about love – the very fascinating ones try so hard to create an impression that they very soon exhaust their talents.”

John Lennon and Paul McCartney  simply say, “All you Need is Love.”

My friend, a seasoned cynic,  paraphrases  George Orwell in his book 1984, “Love is thought crime!”

Equally as cynical. “Love, love – all the wretched can’t of it, masking egotism, lust, masochism, fantasy under a mythology of sentimental postures, a welter of self-induced miseries and joys, blinding and masking and dating and desire, the compliments and the quarrels which vivify its bareness,” so says Germaine Greer, in The Female Eunich.

Marianne Williamson, spiritual leader of today explains from her book, Enchanted Love, “Love can be a huge mountain, a gentle garden, a raging storm, a cool breeze, or a perfect bath, but there is always fire nearby. There is always the red-hot stuff of the soul’s initiation.  If there isn’t fire, there isn’t love.  To the mystic, the presence of that does not say, go away…To the mystic, the presence of that fire says, Here, if you’re strong enough to take it, is love.”

She continues, “The enchanted lover is able to just stand in the light of someone else’s  love. For women this is particularly significant. Men are willing to fall all over themselves to give to a woman, but some women do not know how to allow that to happen simply because they don’t know how to stand still…”

Centuries ago, Paul in his letters to the Corinthians said, “Love is patient, love is kind.  It doesn’t envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always  perseveres. Love never fails.”

Happy Valentine’s Day all you lovers, you romantics, you sufferers.




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About the Author

Donna Martin

Stained Glass Artist, Owner of Alchemy Stained Glass Studio, Oil painter and journalist. I love the laid back attitude of Edgewater. Oak Hill is one of my favorite towns because of the simple life, with the old Florida atmosphere and the abundant wildlife. But initially, it was New Smyrna Beach that attracted me. I was on my way to Ponce Lighthouse and took a wrong turn into New Smyrna Beach. I picked up a newspaper (The Observer, in fact). On the front page was an article about the Atlantic Center for the Arts. I folded up my paper, went back to St. Cloud where I was working for Chrysler in Orlando and put my house up for sale. I’ve never looked back.

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