Sunday, February 21, 2010
Who hasn't written one of these, about a love lost or found, a betrayal or a connection? This one is about definitions of love, of me, of we. Of a love that goes beyond Valentines hearts and wedding rings. No, i am not hating on your partnership, just offering up another vision, another way of having a life overflowing with love that flows between more than two people, flows through more than blood and water.
So let me stop this hallmark card and get real.
I am single and I am happy, and I am complete, and I am not waiting, I am not "in between" something, or preparing myself for someone - I am not unloved or unlovable - I have a long list of people to lean on at the end of a hard day, I have deep loves with many hearts, and if you ask me why I am "alone" I will tell you that I am not and that I don't have to, nor do I want to justify my single state against partnered expectations.
I experience a love that allows me to develop community, to make more choices, to express myself more widely, to be in awe of more of the amazing people I share this space with.
So now I am going to stop the poetic and get a little political. The hyper-focus of our culture on romantic, heterosexual, family making love is detrimental to our ability to join together, form community, experience solidarity. The energy that we, in the United States, spend on finding that special someone and then keeping that special someone is huge. Again, I don't want to put down those who have found these amazing and wonderful relationships. The love between two people can create worlds, not to mention more humans (or the space to care for humans. However, when we are taught to focus so much on that one relationship, that narrow definition of family, it discourages the collective action that is necessary to keep the power in the hands of the people. So find your love, but also appreciate all the love you already have with family and friends. The hours we spend in bars, at parties, on match.com or okcupid, could be spent organizing, meeting and working with people to make change, thinking and reading about how to turn this world upside down.
So expand your heart to love more, to love those who suffer due to your comfort, those who work for no pay so that we can have our cheap Walmart products, those who are targeted with our fear. Make that love so big it will cause you to want to act in a way that will undermine your own privilege so that others will not have to lack in order for you to have. Keep the romantic love, and make it grow into something more - make yours a revolutionary partnership, or community of friends, or family.