In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

What kind of love is it?

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Unconditional love. Love unconditionally the gospel of everyone tells us. So simple. Just love for the sake of loving without expectation of return. Love is enough.

But we are also socially conditioned to believe that love is circumscribed to acceptable people and circumstances. Monogamy dictates love only to the betrothed, regardless of how many loving people a lov-er meets along the road of a long life. 

We categorize love: friendship, passion, God, country, children, siblings, spouses, lovers, flings, new cars, cats, gardening and pizza. We give time limits–for a lifetime, a season, a night.  So many names for so many kinds of loves–expensive ones (mistress or travel) to home grown ones (God, spirit, charity, and light).  We love the earth, the skies and the seas. We love. 

But we are so busy defining the type of love we are receiving and giving that we forget to just love and let love be the guide not the answer or the question. 

Analytical as I am, I fall prey to this downsizing and chopping love to bits. If I love being with an other, just talking and spending time, so much so that I can declare that I love that other for this compatability and gift we bestow of conversation and time, am I violating some unspoken laws or ethical codes if this person is promised to another for that other kind of love, the eternal everlasting one of ceremony and song? This I must always inventory.

A visitor came to town, someone from cyberspace, whom I have never met other than through x’s and o’s. I took it upon myself to be ambassador. The tour of some of my favorite cafes and nature spots yielded an instant bond and good time. I found a co-spirit in great conversation, shared interests and world views, a peace of just being. 

Flitting thoughts of expectations or produced impressions strafed this good time like WWII bombers overhead, periodic and impactful, enough to disrupt the flow with slight uneasiness. Am I giving the wrong impression–that I am interested in a relationships, fling, one-night stand? That I am interested? Don’t want to mislead.

Why not love what or who sits before me without figuring out the good or bad of it, hemming myself in measured patterns of behavior and select words?

My daily aim is to feel love not that way but freely–unfettered.  Not in exchange or as gift but connection. In some rare moments, even I am successful.

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