love you must have

I ran across a bit of dialog in a book I was reading last night – a CJ Cherryh novel, one of Fantasy/Sci-fi’s perennial greats, and in my opinion, one of the greatest writers working today (even if her recent books have been someone off her usual mark). She’s a brilliant, insightful, lyrical writer, someone […]

I ran across a bit of dialog in a book I was reading last night – a CJ Cherryh novel, one of Fantasy/Sci-fi’s perennial greats, and in my opinion, one of the greatest writers working today (even if her recent books have been someone off her usual mark). She’s a brilliant, insightful, lyrical writer, someone who seems to understand human beings on a more deep and fundamental level that most, and someone who can take that understanding and build characters with the full, conflicted, confused richness that comes with being human.

Strangely, some of her best observations on the human heart and mind come from the point of view of non-human intelligence; as if humanity’s real nature is best seen from outside.

This quote then is from such a character, Tristan, from Cherryh’s Fortress series.

“This too: love you must have, love that come to you from outside, un-bought and unasked for. Do you understand? You cannot hold it. You cannot compel it. But you must keep it when it comes.”

“How do I keep it, then?”

“Deserve it”.

This captures something that is central to the way I try to live and what I expect in others. Love isn’t a thing to be expected, assumed, compelled, or demanded. Love is something that is earned; one gains it by being deserving of it. One keeps it my striving to remain deserving.

I tried to express this the other day, and failed, and then found this quote; That, I said to myself, is exactly what I was striving for.

10 thoughts on “love you must have”

  1. I think your words are better, in fact pefectly stated. ” Love isn’t a thing to be expected, assumed, compelled, or demanded.” Especially not expected or assumed…which is right up there with being taken for granted.
    Never, ever take this girl for granted.

  2. This is why I always have dogs: the free-form and furry love. Not so much that my dogs give it to me, though I like to think they do, but so that I can give it to them.

    kissykiss,
    chelsea g

  3. I’m sorry. I can’t keep quiet.

    Love is something that is earned; one gains it by being deserving of it.

    That is exactly what I used to think when I was married.

  4. You know, I’d go one step further; I don’t think you can deserve love either. It either comes to you, or it doesn’t. I do think one of the hardest challenges we face as humans is learning how to accept love, simply, when it is offered. Being “deserving” of love can help with that, but it can hinder it too. There are no easy answers here.

    By the way, this is a fucking great post. Thanks for writing it.

  5. I think I’d add that, precisely because love is so rare, we all have an ethical responsibility as human beings to give our love to others unreservedly. I’ve been thinking since the new year of posting resolutions along the lines of the samurai no kokoroe; I think I might edit them and add this in as another precept.

  6. we all have an ethical responsibility as human beings to give our love to others unreservedly

    … always been MY philosophy but well, it is against the law when money is exchanged!

    Sorry, that was rude. You actually made a very valid point, Buck. Actually they all are because it’s not tangible. I do truly believe that when one gives their love :: yes, yes, my mind is out of the gutter (just enough to make my point, anyway) :: unblemished.. without motive and without expectation it has a way of circling back in the same fashion. Way to much emphasis is placed on things done or thought or performed or anticipated in the name of love.

    But rest assured, my love is free to all who want to accept it :: at least until I’m off probation! :: Sorry.. couldn’t resist! LOL!

  7. I think the point, buck, is that one needs to never make assumptions; one must strive; to be wise, to be better, to be deserving of respect, love, freindship.

    It’s the act of striving that makes the difference.

    The point in fact was not about deserving, but about the fact that love cannot be bought, compelled, or asked for. As you say, it comes, or it does not, and all one can do is strive. Not because the act of stiving makes one deserving, but because if one does not strive, what’s left?

  8. Lost in the clouds with Jupiter transcendent

    Lost in the clouds with Mars ascendant.

    Love Luck and the music of the Spheres.

    Azure in the arms of Cerulean

    Cast adrift in the Indigo isles

    May Angel love and Moon glow light your path.

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