Loosely translated it means – those who love me, follow me. It’s something my father used to say, usually just after I’d told him that I wasn’t going to do whatever it was that he wanted me to do.
He loved to use Italian proverbs like playing cards to win a game of human chess.
His personal translation of the saying was – If you don’t do what I want you to do it means that you don’t love me.
His version of love was a gladiator competition between others to prove to him how much they loved him, with him presiding over it like an emperor with his thumb poised between up or down.
My mother wasn’t any better than him.
They both used love as a means to an end. As a reason to send you off on some quest to get some treasure, to fight their monsters, to save them from a villain, to prove to them that they were loved. Nothing other than your complete subservient self-sacrifice to their need and greed would do. But that wasn’t good enough either.
They both loved to talk endlessly about love. They were experts on love. They loved bigger and better than anyone else. They felt love more deeply, more intensely, more passionately, more genuinely than anyone else ever. Only they knew what love truly was.
According to them, and their friends and family (who always agreed with them to prove their love to them and win the prizes which came with that game), I was utterly unlovable and incapable of love.
That awful truth haunted me, and inspired me to do a lot of research on the abstract subject matter of Love.
I filled my head with as many opinions on it as I could, watched films about love, read books about love both fiction and non-fiction, heard songs about love, and listened to all the people I met tell me all about love.
Love is a lot like that other abstract subject matter – Truth.
“And he wrote a long letter about it to the local newspaper. Every one quoted it, it was full of so many words that they could not understand.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince
There are as many versions of the truth and love as there are people on this planet, more than that for within each person there are many truths and loves, and when those are shared in writing, in song, in film, in painting, in legend, in memory, in the many ways people share, they get passed along, live on even when the sharer passes on.
I wonder where, when, how and why it all started.
For each person, perhaps true love is in finding another soul whose versions of truth and love are similar to theirs, complementary, symbiotic, sychronised.
A bit like meeting someone who likes the same film that you do for the same reasons.
Or finding a community online where you can be yourself and that’s okay.
It’s time for Melanie of Sparks From A Combustible Mind’s Share Your World 2-4-19
What’s wrong but sounds right?
What physical action or gesture do you find romantic?
Being given credit where credit is due.
What’s something you really resent paying for?
The mistakes of others.
What’s your favorite romance movie?
What were you uplifted by in the past week?
An abstract concept…
Happy Year of the Pig/Boar!