Scripted and unscripted love

After reading Fiona’s post describing the making of her banner for Mo’s project (“I Dream of a World Where Love is the Answer), I decided I wanted my own embroidered “love”. So I stitched the word on a strip of walnut-dyed cloth just below an appliquéd heart. It seemed a good spot.

Have you noticed how often typing on a phone that one mistakenly types ‘live’ when one means ‘love’ or ‘love’ when one means ‘live’?

The quirks of a teeny iphone keyboard dishing up a philosophical message is emblematic of our age — for what is life without love?

To live is to love. To love is to live.

If one is loving, of course.

We were out of town this weekend and I got to witness the tender care my sister-in-law gave her 91 year old father. Did he need anything? Could she read his cards to him? Didn’t he look sharp in yellow and how about walking down the hall a little ways? I reflected on how my manner with my sister in no way approaches such soft, tenderness; how I could NEVER get her to walk down the hall a little ways; how impatient and defended I can be.

There are lots of reasons for the differences, reasons both exonerating and out of my control, but the weekend felt like an object lesson anyway.

Because it was also Kentucky Derby weekend, the guys made mint juleps.


The visits are always short these days and all the more precious for being so.

18 thoughts on “Scripted and unscripted love

    1. deemallon Post author

      Seeing Finn under the script is a reminder of how unadulterated the affection we have for our pets is (in contrast to family).

      Reply
  1. tina

    Love can be complicated and confusing … just because we don’t show love the same way does not mean that we do not love.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Really good point, Tina. I have often wondered what it means, really, to say, “I’m doing the best I can”. That isn’t always completely or even partially credible even to myself. How do we know? The mere fact that we did what we did and can’t change what we did surely doesn’t earn an immediate stamp of “having done the best we could”? It’s a comforting idea but kind of unanswerable. The good news is that if I can’t determine whether I’m doing the best I can, surely no one else can either.

      No answer needed, of course.

      Reply
  2. Hazel

    Just to say, there’s a lot of love here, and actions speak louder than words, and not all of us could/would do the same, and none of us knows what went on before or goes on during for another, AND you strike me as a very giving caring soul, just saying.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Thank you Hazel. I like to think that we do really get a sense of each other here, so I won’t discount your words.

      Reply
  3. Nancy

    It is such human nature to be so hard on ourselves, yes? Different him, different her, different you…we all travel our own ways. Sometimes shorter is sweeter, leave us wanting more. And he does indeed look dapper in yellow 🙂

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      I am hard on myself fairly reflexively but this comparison was also somehow tender. More of an open wondering than a harsh condemnation (I leave the latter to my sister!).

      Reply
    2. Jen

      I concur. You cannot even compare the relationships. She obviously gets something from her father that you don’t get from sister. Father sounds like a joy fountain and sister sounds like an energy suck. Totally different circumstances, relationships and histories. Take joy in what you witnessed and don’t beat yourself up for not having that same tender experience. It’s not you. PS – lady, you are stunning in the red photo.

      Reply
      1. deemallon Post author

        “Totally different circumstances, relationships and histories,” is an important thing to stay aware of.

        Reply
  4. ravenandsparrow

    Caretaking has never been my thing, but being in relationships makes it unavoidable. The relationship itself dictates the tenor of the caretaking, I think. It is so much easier to care for someone who appreciates your help and loving feelings are hard to maintain without reciprocity. I’m quite sure you are doing the best you can with your sister. Perhaps it will be possible to enlarge your tender feelings in the manner of your sister-in-law with her father, but that will be your decision, arising out of all the history you two have between yourselves. Be as kind to yourself as you would like to be with your sister. End of sermon.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      Best sermon ever is that last sentence: Be as kind to yourself as you would like to be with your sister. And a variation might be: Be as kind to yourself as your sister would like you to be to her.

      Reply
  5. jude

    love has so many layers. I got swept back into those days of old parents. my days were so confusing. It seems different now, live and love.

    Reply
    1. deemallon Post author

      clarity and regret come right after someone dies, in my experience. I used to use that as a measure — can I do this in a way that I won’t really, really regret it after someone’s gone? It’s hard to keep that up, though. Living and loving seems to be at least in part about accepting one’s own limitations.

      Reply

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