The meaning of the word love has become diluted within our supersized world. We are constantly looking for the biggest and the best, the greatest value for the least cost. So when choosing words to express our interest, praise or desire, it has become a cultural norm to reach beyond the term that would be adequate or accurate. Instead we supersize it. We add value to what we’re trying to express by using words like love to describe how we feel.
I love french fries. I love that color blue. I love having a day off work. I love you.
While we may successfully express a greater or more exciting emotion, we risk devaluing our supersized words. Love should be protected. Love is something that everyone needs and something that we can’t do without. Therefore, in honor of Valentine’s Day, the One Word Interview features authors expressing what the word LOVE means to them in 50 or fewer words.
We also invite you to share what LOVE means to you.
– Paulo Coelho,
from Love by Paulo Coelho with illustrations by Catalina Estrada
LOVE was my first kiss at age 15, on Janice Vant’s moonlit doorstep—braces and all. I went to my job at a restaurant the next day, where the waitresses saw me grinning from ear-to-ear and collectively decided I had just lost my virginity. But it was just a kiss.
Holds hands at weddings.
Holds hands at funerals.
Is Messy. Steadfast. Forgiving.
Love takes a trip, takes out the trash, takes a risk.
Love shares the burden
And the discovery.
Love is the plus in one plus one. It’s the active ingredient in happiness; it’s why we do the best things we do and why we try to do them well, and it’s what’s left when everything that doesn’t matter is stripped away. And happy Valentine’s Day.
my husband my children my family my god my church my work my reading my dogs my laughter.
Dizzy, dazzled, desperate, dazed, beguiled, bewitched, bewildered, burning, tornado in the heart, soul ripped open, fire in the blood, tremor in the bones, tempted, tortured, teased, tamed, heartstrings taut and quivering, tummy turning cartwheels, sin dark, ocean deep, carnal craving, weak at the knees.
Is the moment you realize that instead of being in the spotlight, you’d rather be beaming from the sidelines, watching that special someone shine.
a tight, familiar embrace.
my bub’s head pressed into the
crook of my shoulder.
the sound of their irrepressible laughter
in the early morning.
reading by the ocean, with the sun upon
my face, hearing the roar and hiss
of the waves, a glimpse of
my love and bubs exploring the tide pools.
…and suddenly I love you beyond all measure is not just words but a heart, a soul bursting open, a stripping raw of all pretense. It is his tears on my face, his body in mine, our minds seamless. It is hopes and dreams and failures. It is apologies and a prayer for redemption. It is heaven and damnation.
All that I am is yours pales beside it.
It is everything.
It is love.
– Linnea Sinclair,
from Shades of Dark