I was never a big poetry fan, so it's kind of funny that I have a favorite poem, but I do. It's called "If Thou Must Love Me" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. To summarize she starts out by telling her lover not to love her just because of her smile, or their common interests because those things change. I read it in Miss Master's 11th grade English class and loved it. But I chose to write my paper on "Porphyria's Lover" by her husband Robert Browning, because the subject of strangling someone with their own Rapunzel-like hair seemed more interesting at age 17.
Today, twenty years later, the subject of true love is more pertinent than ever. I had to re-read the poem just now to refresh my memory on why I liked it. I think it has stuck with me because I make a lot of lists in life. Lists like "what I want to accomplish", "I want my home to have..." and of course "what I want you to be like". That last list isn't always written, but we keep score in our heads. I will love my partner if he/she does this and this, or if they make me feel a certain way. The converse is that I will stop loving you if you do not do, say or be what I want.
You may be thinking there is nothing wrong with that, but let me make a distinction between being with someone and loving them. It is fair to require certain things of a partner like respect, love and support. But I believe that we should love for love's sake. I choose to love someone on their good days and their bad days. I choose to love someone whether they are doing things for me or not. Sometimes I may choose not be in a relationship with the person I love if it is harmful to me, but I will love them none-the-less.
So it means something to me when Elizabeth says "love me for love's sake, that evermore thou mayst love on, through love's eternity." I don't want to love a list, I just want to love.
Causes Micki McNie Supports
Eco-Cycle, Boulder Homeless Shelter, Emergency Family Assistance Association,