The Face of Love

I recently saw a photo that I think is one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. Its a candid shot of two women, one has obviously done or said something that filled the other with delighted laughter. And I found myself wanting to try and do a sketch of it.  Admittedly, sketching people has never been one of my best areas, but I think I came pretty close in capturing it.  So, I hope I will be forgiven minor errors I may have made.  I’m still working on these skills.  I later learned that these two women have been partners for over 20 years. That is an incredibly long time for any couple. And the realization that after that many years, they could bring such looks of delight to each other is beyond words.

True love is one of the most elusive of creatures in this world. To find it, to recognize it, to grab hold of it and keep it alive is one of the greatest gifts we can ever hope to achieve. It is unique in each instance and defies all logic, all reason. Its that moment when two souls meet and recognition blasts away the coverings and the masks. Its a seed to be nurtured, cherished, fed and celebrated. Its a place of comfort, a world sheltered from the universe without.

It needs no explanation. That it exists gives it the right to. It is for none of us to understand, to make sense out of, to find familiarity with based on our own life and love.

I suppose this is why I have such problems with the extreme homophobia that exists in many areas of our land right now. I don’t think I have ever really understood the concept of hating a stranger. I have never understood the need to remake the world into one of my liking. I have always been fine with the strangeness of the world, of people in general. It makes life fun and interesting. And it gives me a chance sometimes to look at the world through other eyes.

I have a friend that is in a relationship that I can never begin to wrap my head around. The dynamics, the lifestyle, etc. For quite a while, I found it disconcerting, as she is so very dear to me and I thought it was “unhealthy”. Two things happened that changed my perspective on it. The first was one time I had gone to her house when I was very upset. Her partner, at one point, sat next to me and I could tell she was struggling with wanting to put her arms around me or touch me in comfort, but also not wanting to give the wrong impression. I saw her in a new light that day and realized that she was just a beautiful, compassionate woman.

The second thing was when I spent a few days at their house. Admittedly, I was a bit uncomfortable when I was there. Mostly because I don’t understand the “rules” and I didn’t want to be an unwelcome guest by behaving improperly and casting a bad impression for my friend. I was raised to believe that you should conduct yourself with consideration and respect of people’s house rules when you are under their roof. I didn’t know the rules, so I was unsure what was okay or not. At any rate, I did get to observe the two of them together in a way I never had before. What struck me from that observation was in listening to them talk to each other, look at each other, I saw this incredible depth of love, devotion that they had for each other. It was again, one of those rare occasions that you get to truly look on the face of real love. And it was with that knowledge that I realized I didn’t need to understand the other things. They weren’t relevant. Because, no love and devotion that shone that brightly could be “unhealthy”. That it wasn’t a lifestyle that I would ever have for myself didn’t matter. That I didn’t understand it didn’t matter. All that mattered was the bond of love between them. My friend is a better person for her relationship with her partner. My friend is happy. That is all I need to understand. That is all that matters. The rest is just icing or filling.

So, I wonder what it is that drives these people that have such hate and intolerance? Are their hearts so closed that they cannot recognize the face of love when they see it? Is it jealousy that such joy has never touched their hearts? Because I cannot believe that if it had, they would be able to hold on to that hate. It would fill them with such beauty, the hate would have no where to go but out of their hearts. They aren’t hurting anyone with how they live their lives. They aren’t seeking to make the rest of us like them. They are only seeking the right to love that unique soul that has touched their’s. To have all the rights and privileges that go with connected souls. Granting them that causes no harm to anyone. It doesn’t undermine anyone else’s rights. It doesn’t endanger the lifestyles we have chosen for ourselves.

And it doesn’t corrupt our children. Our children will grow to be gay or straight as their nature dictates. All the proof of that is that most gays come from heterosexual relationships. The only thing that corrupts our children is teaching them hate and intolerance. The only thing that corrupts our society and we as humans, is hate and intolerance. We don’t have to dance to the same tune, like the same books, love the same people. There are far more important things to do with our energies than restricting the lives of people who love each other.

Love is the fire of inspiration that drives us to move out of our comfort zone. to take a chance, knowing that we could fall shattering to earth, yet doing so anyway. It is in the love of everything we do that turns it from a chore into an act of creation. It is the call of the unknown. Denying it casts a cloud upon one’s soul and paralyzes. And embracing it could end in heartache, failure. Or, it could end in success. It could change the world and quite often it does. Its a miracle all seek and only a few find. And its undeniable when you look upon its face. And if you truly open your eyes when you look, it will strike you at your core. Its of no danger to anyone. Its a living work of art. And if it is not to your taste, simply look away. And maybe ask yourself why it is that it so truly bothers you? Stripped of gender, stripped of the outer coverings, it is simply and beautifully “love”. How can that ever be wrong?



3 thoughts on “The Face of Love”

  1. I love you! You, my dear sister and best friend are among those I truly love. Platonic though it may be, it is still a deep and true love and I am forever grateful.

  2. Very lovely sketch and essay. I’ve know the two subjects for many years, and I know they are tickled that you lavished your talents on them. Many thanks!

    1. Thank you Tom. I am glad it is appreciated. I have never met the subjects of the sketch, but the photo I drew it from spoke to me of what love is and I wish others could look past the exterior and just see the love. but, I am glad you like it.

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