Love is the quality of attention we pay to things.

J. D. McClatchy, Love Speaks its Name as quoted in Conversations on Love by Natasha Lun

In her book, Lun states that sustaining of love is to create a space for simple moments and then to notice them. Seems so simple, right? But is it?

The incident Lun refers to is about cooking a meal with her partner- being present in the moment and just enjoying each others company. To be present with one’s partner…

What simple moments have you shared with a partner in the past? Do you recall those moments with a sense of peace? Are they pleasant memories?

It doesn’t have to be romantic love though. It can be love of a friend, love of a child. When I think about my closest friends, the thoughts that always pop into my mind are of simple moments of just being together, or talking about nothing. A few months ago we got into a day long text chain about staplers. One of my friends remarked that day that this is why she loved us: because we could spend an entire day talking about staplers. And now, when I see a stapler I think of my friends and the thoughts are happy- it’s about a silly conversation that just sort of captured all of us in a perfect moment of togetherness.

It’s your turn: Is love the quality of attention we pay to things?

Is love noticing the small moments that make up life?

Discuss:

42 thoughts on “What is Love? Ha Ha Ha

  1. I loved our conversation about staplers! Still brings a smile to my face. I will always think of you, M,and AM when I see a stapler and think of you! Love you three!

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  2. Why am I not surprised that you, of all the bloggers I know, would be the one to get into a fervent discussion over staplers of all things! I would always prefer to find connections in small moments- silly, deep or anywhere between. Those stick with you. Call them what you want- love, joy, connectedness. Those moments mean something.

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  3. Ah, another easy question from you! 🙂 It’s one of those questions that people have always struggled to answer, so, at least I am in good company! 😉 Personally, I would agree that love is in the small things as much as it is burned in flames three miles high – sometimes! 🙂

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    1. I do that with this same group of friends and you’re right…it’s these little moments that are special in their ordinary manner, but really so much more

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  4. A few years ago I became very depressed and very discontent with my life. My therapist had me do an experiment where I wrote down the ways I felt loved vs. the way my family showed it. It was a great experiment and opened my eyes to a lot of things. What I needed at that point in my life was verbal compliments and praise; what I got was my daughter making me tea in the afternoons when she makes hers, my husband turning on my heating blanket while I washed the dishes so when I snuggled on the couch it was already warmed up for me, and my son cracking jokes to make me smile. I was surrounded by blessings I didn’t even see! So, yes, I think it’s important to see the ordinary because they are how we all experience the love of family.

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  5. I don’t know if love can only be described as the quality of attention, but certainly life is filled with countless special moments. Many become even more special years later when you evaluate your life and remember those you’ve lost.

    My best friend passed away going on five years ago this past December. One of the little things we did was to call each other on Sundays after watching whatever show was on PBS masterpiece. Lol we’d have fun discussing all the various series. And I remember All the lunches we had after we retired from teaching where we took turns meeting up at each other’s favorite places. She loved her margaritas!

    But, she was quite tech challenged and I’d often get emergency phone calls from her where I’d have to drive over to her house and get her out of a computer mishap, an iPhone glitch, and help her undo something she’d turned off or on. She’d battled cancer for over 15 years. Towards the end I would bring over dinner a few nights a week and we’d laugh and watch a movie and talk about the good old days when we were young, single, and had no real concept of how bright and beautiful we were. (Appreciating our true value took decades to achieve, as was often the case with women from our generation).

    It’s going on 13 years since my late husband passed and my sons and I still laugh about some of the silly jokes he told. We all remember his sports obsession, his fascination with the old west, The Civil War, The Kennedy assignation. Etc. ( He was an American History professor) so there are many lovely memories. But some of the sweetest moments were the simplest. Before I had my youngest son, my hubby and I would meet up after work to grab dinner. We’d see each other at a distance at the restaurant of our choice, and he’d wave and I’d See that twinkle in his eyes, his engaging smile and get a hug and a kiss before we were seated. Those lovely, sweet moments were the best!

    What is love? Love is showing up. Being there. Caring. It’s a combination of all those sweet moments that turn into our favorite forever memories.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I think it’s another one of those things that changes over time (and circumstances?). For example, the friendship between my BFF and me started with little things 25 or so years ago. Over time, it’s moved on to the bigger things. Definition of little: kid-related stuff. Definition of big – health and relationships-related stuff.

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      1. I think it’s all big stuff as we are going through it. I saw my best city friend the their day, and we thanked each other for getting each other through parenting our kids. That was a very big deal for me

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  6. Hmm, the quality of attention? Me rubbing my wife’s back and neck after a busy, stressful day. Is that love. Me writing a love note to my wife telling her that I love her and how lucky I am to have her. Is that love? Me quietly moving my wife to the inside of the sidewalk so that I stand in the way of oncoming traffic or other passersby. Is that love? I’d like to think those are all love. I don’t have a good definition of love, but it’s one of those words that it’s easier to show you examples or even tell you what it isn’t. Me talking about myself to my wife until I’m blue in the face . . . that’s not love. Great topic LA!

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  7. Even on those otherwise boring Saturdays, where all we do is stop at Target and go grocery shopping, at the end of the day, we always remark about how much fun we had. We didn’t even do anything…we were just together.

    That, I suppose, is love.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. thank you for a post that highlights the importance of being there at a time when we are so connected to distractions. The importance of turning off notifications, keeping the device not just face down but out of sight. The little moments, the sharing of memories, the knowledge that a disagreement is momentary but the bond is solid. My wife has done trillions of things in kindness in the 43 years we have been together but the moment that I think of most often is this one. Waking from a drug induced sleep in Vancouver hospital my dear wife was holding my hand at 3 am watching me rest. I spent 5 months in hospital that year but never doubted that in a real sense she was still holding my hand though she was miles away.

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  9. Yeah, small things. For sure.
    I mean, all the big things are just collections of small things when you think about it. Try making a soup but leave out the small, white crystals (I think they call it salt) and see how it tastes. :&

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  10. I love your stapler story – I think love is best displayed the simple moments, although the big moments are important. And it can definitely exist between friends – I often have silly conversations and texts with my friends (that’s what texting should be IMO) and they make me happy.

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  11. Love is definitely found in the small stuff and yes – and I also believe it’s a sign of love when we offer our best, whether that be attention or effort.

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