love

Standing together by arch_1099

Once upon a time I wrote a little note to Danny and Mara of A Blog About Love, thanking them for talking about love, its forms, its reach. I also wrote a blog entry about how one of their posts had affected Miss Lavender, prompting her to want to practice love the way you practice doing anything you want to get good at:  through repetition.

Teva Tessa agan with sun in arm_1072

One of Miss Lavender’s goals was to strengthen her relationship with her younger sister–Miss Zinnia, exactly three years her junior.

Teva Millay by arch looking away_1122

Different in so many ways, the petals occasionally reach an impasse, and then they have to find a way to move forward. But especially when they’re out together like they were here, in Teba, Spain, they often end up being each other’s best company.  So cool, that traveling together ended up being their mortar.

Teva girls in field_0959

Teva girls running through field_0958

Remember the old tradition of the Sunday drive?–where the family hops in the car and heads out to see what the afternoon looks like an hour down the road? Well, we’ve been doing that off and on for months–and not just on Sundays, obviously. I’ve got to say: sometimes the middle of nowhere turns into a Big Somewhere when transfigured by a pair of sisters at ease with each other and with themselves.

Teva Tessa kissing Millay_1137

Once again, thanks Danny and Mara. All these months later, the seeds of your Words Of Love are still yielding fruit.

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Palafrugell_4958

I have two daughters, both in their teens, both tall and statuesque.  (I know, I know, forgive me while I dote.)  Each is lovely in her own distinct way. Each has her own unique strengths and tastes. One adores vintage style and dreams about being an industrial designer. One listens to Bach while she does homework and occasionally breaks into song in cathedrals. My point: they’re different. As a result, sometimes they have to work to understand each other.

Which brings me to a phenomenon I’ll call “love” blogging. My older daughter, she of the waist-length hair and patrician features, stumbled upon an interesting blog recently. A Blog About Love chronicles the journey of a highly interesting couple whose first marriages ended and whose second marriage–to each other–has brought them not only happiness but wisdom, the pearls of which they share with those lucky enough to count themselves among the blog’s readership. But while it tends to focus on married love, the posts resonate on many levels. Indeed, my daughter has found the overall theme so inspiring that she now has resolved to be more loving and understanding, starting with her younger sister–a blue-eyed wisp of a thing who could easily have stepped out of a Celtic myth.

It’s impossible to overestimate the bandwidth of the love blog. Last night, for example, we were all sitting around as a family after finishing an exercise in Spanish reading and pronunciation (we’re living in Spain until next summer), and when my older daughter had an opportunity to get frustrated at something that might normally have prompted frustration, she turned to me with a smile, touched me lightly on the arm, and affirmed that she was choosing not to be bugged. “Since I’ve been reading A Blog About Love,” she reminded me, “I just want to be more loving to everyone.”

I know, right? The moment sounds almost cloying–like it could be fake!  But it wasn’t cloying.  And it most certainly wasn’t fake.  The evidence:  a seventeen-year-old girl chose love.  Because of a blog.  Naturally she was the greatest beneficiary.  After all, the kind of forbearance informed by the intention to practice love instead of something else always benefits the practitioner more than anyone else.

Thank you, authors of A Blog About Love.  Your message has currency, not only with the second-time-arounders but also with a much younger crowd as well, including a beautiful girl whose views of love have broadened as a result of having collided with you.  She, like your other readers, is gaining confidence that love is a verb–i.e., anyone can practice it with success.

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