also while I firmly believe that all human beings are born with the innate capacity for tremendous, earth-shattering love
actually loving is something you have to work on. It requires practice, it takes contentiousness and habit-building and carefulness and empathy–we are born into this world immensely selfish, crying out for only our own needs; we have to work backwards from that, to expand our awareness. To realize that there are other people in the world just as needful, as complex, as you yourself are. And then to fall in love with them, to stay in love with them, as you love yourself when you are complicated or crude or selfish or hateful.
we differentiate love from lust or affection or any number of shades of feeling because love is–something set apart. It is natural, instinctual, but also made, worked, shaped. Something of our choosing, an act of self-creation, and also something beyond us, though we haven’t quite finished arguing about from where.
(I don’t actually care–biology, theology, psychology, doesn’t matter to me. A little something of our own, and a little someone beyond our control. Of this, the world is made.)
and I don’t know, there’s something trembling and true and lovely about that idea. That we work on even this, confounded by it thousands of years later–we write hymns to the unsolvable puzzle of it, though the words have hardly changed down the centuries and the melody is always something you can hum. I love you I’m not worthy, I don’t understand, I don’t–
it happens anyway, a stupid glorious accident that we take and set alight, and turn into love.