Looking at Love of Friends

Inexhaustible they bubble
Thousands upon thousands
Words rising from the heart
Affection a green leaf
Full of love to the root
Snowflakes flutter in the sky
Winter hearts lost
But now found
Remain together in harmony
Warm hearts melt the cold
Condense as fog rises
Happiness a new song

We fail so often to express how much we love people in our lives. Sure I tell my mother that I love her. I sign-off with my sister telling her that I love her too. And I tell Sparky that I love him… But other than that, there is a real paucity of affection expressed to others. Americans seem very squeamish to tell friends that we love them. I suppose we have been inculcated to think that declaring that you love someone is automatically associated with romantic love. On the other hand we are quite free to exclaim that we LOVE chocolate, those shoes, the latest fashion, the selected paint color, a new car – you get the idea. We are more willing to love things than to love people. I ran into a Post Doc at the university. She was one of a cohort of Chinese exchange students that I trained (4 years ago?). After completing the hands on training, she was so happy and thankful that she gushed, “I love you! You are the best teacher!” It isn’t every day that you are told that you are loved. When I retired, she was one of the people who made a point of attending my going away party where she gave me a card that again expressed her gratitude for my assistance with her research – and she told me once more that she loved me! There is a vibration, a harmonious song that is created by goodwill and camaraderie, that many do not hear. I wonder if we put that love out into the world and sing it just a little louder, if we can teach others the tune…
This was written for Calmkate’s Friday Fun. Please go to her site and check out all the other great contributions!

28 thoughts on “Looking at Love of Friends

  1. I agree. I think we are squeamish to appreciate love for the people in our lives, but far less squeamish to love the things we buy. It’s bothersome to me.
    Thoughtful words. Pretty poem for May. I was thinking about expressing some thoughts in a poem, then remembered it’s not April anymore. Ha. Poems all the time!! It’s like wearing white after Labor Day!

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  2. Totally agree. I wonder if we think acknowledging a love of other people is a weakness, a vulnerability, at a time when the facade of independence and toughness are ingrained. Personally, I am becoming a little less hard arsed, and more sookylala about those in my circle. Not sure if its damn Covid or old age.

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    1. I learned a new phrase! Sookylala! hehe! yes I do think if we say we love someone it can make them uncomfortable as most immediately think it is romantic love. I’m working on expressing my love for my friends more verbally… Sometimes actions just aren’t enough!

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  3. Ah, the Midwest. All the buttoned-down and chin-up stance.
    Me? I feel like I gush hearts and hugs everywhere, and a. maybe people think i’m insincere, since i do a lot of it (i’m a cheerleader on the inside 😉 and b. maybe they think i’m like …creepy. or stalk-y. idk, as the kids say.
    Meanwhile… 💜 !
    😉

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    1. Hehe! Yes the dichotomy of the Midwest – friendly in the extreme (at least in IN) but very reluctant to show emotion/affection. It makes us sort of fake to many “outsiders” but we know the depth of our feelings. We just don’t SAY it we only show it through actions… I am trying to do a little more gushing of hearts and hugs. It might be a weird and awkward time for some of my friends – hehehe! ❤

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    1. Yes I think that was the way it used to be. When the boys were young Sparky tried to break that habit. When they would express that they “loved” some object his response was, “Why don’t you marry it?”. It has become a running joke at our house…

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  4. oh Val I love this and you!

    I wrote my first poem on this topic in 2005, as it puzzles me deeply. Loving another doesn’t mean we want to get intimate, it really means I value our friendship muchly!

    I totally get where your chinese student was coming from, they meet so much bigotry and she sincerely appreciated that you trained and treated her like a human bean … not many do I promise you!

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    1. Oh Kate I love you too! I try to treat everyone the same – with the same respect and caring. Of course some folks make it easier than others… SWMNBN was pure evil but I was always respectful, civil, but we were never going to be friends.

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        1. Thanks for the kindness Kate. I never thought of it as anything more than the way it is supposed to be… I’ve said it before (and I’m probably preaching to the choir) we need a little more kindness in this world.

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  5. Your post provokes the sleepy (forgotten) moments of my earlier life here; when i heard that it was a taboo to hug a daughter or son and walk with his arm around the daughter’s shoulder.
    Thank you Val. I have to start writing soon.

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  6. We often relate love to intimacy. Only which we have been taught. I guess inculcating the habit of loving humans, without the touch of romanticism, should be the priority of parents as we give what we learn. But yes also the debate on nurture vs nature cannot be excluded as now I understand a human more than then when I was a child.
    There is so much to talk on this.
    Wonderful poetry and thought.

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    1. Thanks Kritika! There is much debate on the nature vs. nurture conundrum. I think that both play a role in the development of the individual personality. I would love to read a post from you on the subject…

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  7. So many of our interactions with others are mercenary, that Americans are often suspicious of strangers who call us “brother”, “uncle”, “father”, “sister”, “aunt”, “mother’. In other cultures, such relative monikers are de rigeur-and are not necessarily angles to take advantage of one.

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