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  • Writer's pictureGreg Dover

Curations: Aimless Love

For the longest time, I've said that we have devalued the meaning of the word and concept of "love" because we overuse it.

I love this restaurant.

I love that show.

I love the weather right now.

We throw it around more than the Baylor football team's spread offense. But former poet laureate Billy Collins has me thinking that maybe - to find even more meaning - we need to use the word even more. Almost aimlessly.

The poet Billy Collins delivering a witty line

After all, we read in the scriptures about a call to love all people and all things.

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)

And we hear of how God showed God's love for the world. (You know...the classic sports sign, John 3:16?)

So maybe we could find a love for (and fall in love with) the many blessings we encounter every day. And in doing so, maybe fall in love with the Giver of those blessings.


"Aimless Love" by Billy Collins

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,

I fell in love with a wren

and later in the day with a mouse

the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,

I fell for a seamstress

still at her machine in the tailor’s window,

and later for a bowl of broth,

steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,

without recompense, without gifts,

or unkind words, without suspicion,

or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,

the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door –

the love of the miniature orange tree,

the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,

the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –

just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest

on a low branch overhanging the water

and for the dead mouse,

still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up

in a field on its tripod,

ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail

to a pile of leaves in the woods,

I found myself standing at the bathroom sink

gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,

so at home in its pale green soap dish.

I could feel myself falling again

as I felt its turning in my wet hands

and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

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