The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I want love to be a shelter, more then a vessel. 

I said that a few days ago when I didn't have time to really explore what I intend those words to identify ... 


1   a : a container (as a cask, bottle, kettle, cup, or bowl) for holding something
    b : a person into whom some quality (as grace) is infused
 ... vessel of the Lord — H. J. Laski
2   : a watercraft bigger than a rowboat
: a tube or canal (as an artery) in which a body fluid is contained and conveyed or circulated 
(Merriam Webster)

1. A hollow utensil, such as a cup, vase, or pitcher, used as a container, especially for liquids.
a. Nautical A craft, especially one larger than a rowboat, designed to navigate on water.
b. An airship.
3. Anatomy A duct, canal, or other tube that contains or conveys a body fluid: a blood vessel.
4. Botany One of the tubular conductive structures of xylem, consisting of dead cylindrical cells that are attached end to end and connected by perforations. They are found in nearly all flowering plants.
5. A person seen as the agent or embodiment, as of a quality: a vessel of mercy. 

(And, btw ... arteries carry blood from the heart, veins carry blood to the heart, capillaries are "exchangers" ; they facilitate exchange of water and chemicals between the blood and tissue.  
Learned about this distinction while at Bodies Exhibit last week...thanks to IV and V)

So there's that ... a vessel may be thought of as a mechanism for containing, and containing with the intent to transport, and transporting to a place where the contained is dispersed, poured out, finds purpose.
Maybe the idea is less about the actual conveyance then it is about the contained.  Um, maybe the contained is a "marinade" for another contained.  But I think the important distinction for me is that a vessel is a temporary place for what ever it contains, even when it provides long term storage ... as a container for something precious which improves whilst contained.  It does, for me, imply both holding something then letting go of something.  So ... if love is the vessel, a crafted vessel, what does it contain? 

If the vessel is made "from the material of love" maybe it is more like how I think of the concept of "shelter".  Shelter to me is a "feeling" I get in "a place" and that place may be a relationship that "works" like a vessel works, as blood vessels work (so ingenious, I love the circulatory system ... so elegant, so practical ... I smile with the residual joy of the experience provided by the Bodies Exhibit ... we are wonderfully made).  And ... this puzzles me ... how in the world do we "know", how do we sense (and if we do sense, how can we trust that, trust ourselves when we know we have been "wrong" before) ... how do we sense a "place" hospitable to/for love to flourish?  I mean. I believe some of it must be hedged about my our morals, our values, our customs, our constructs.  But given that everything appears to be kosher, how does one determine who, what, when, where, why of love.  For me it is less about can "this" hold my love and more about is my love safe there ... am I safe there (and in some lovely cases, I don't need t be safe ... it would never occur to me to need to be safe with my children for example ... I am safe with them and they are safe with me)

Atlanta, GA / Las Vegas, / NV Buena Park, CA

Let's see how shelter is defined ...

1575–85;  perhaps alteration of obsolete sheltron  testudo, Old Englishscieldtruma,  equivalent to scield shield + truma  body of fighting men;see trim

retreat, asylum, sanctuary, shield, haven, harbor. See cover7.harbor, house. 9. guard, safeguard, shield, defend.

something beneath, behind, or within which a person, animal,or thing is protected from storms, missiles, adverse conditions,etc.; refuge.
the protection or refuge afforded by such a thing: He took shelterin a nearby barn.
protection from blame, incrimination, etc.
a dwelling place or home considered as a refuge from theelements: Every one's basic needs are food, clothing, and shelter.
a building serving as a temporary refuge or residence for homeless persons, abandoned animals, etc.

Well that's kinda interesting (yes, I know, maybe to only me ... lol);

I want love to be a shelter more then a vessel.

Shelter to me is a "feeling" I get in "a place" and that place may be a relationship that "works" like a vessel works, as blood vessels work.  I want love to be about exchange ... and I like thinking about it as a refuge ... a "place" one can truly "come home" to replete with all the metaphors of home (BTW ... that book by Kidder, House ... really good, and I especially loved the other book, Mountains Beyond Mountains ... and, among other important things, they have in common to me at least, this notion of "shelter" which may also be seen demonstrated as an exchange of pouring out one's supply of love upon "something" which replenishes one's supply of love
I want love to be about an exchange.  But I also want love to be about "shelter" ... When I was thinking about it the other day I intentionally substituted the word "vessel" (cup) for the word "chalice" which conveys spiritual connotations.  And ... I think it is a lot easier to "love" someone when that someone is seen as being "a soul".  It takes more of an investment to intentionally observe the obvious ... that that person has significance to God ... it takes more time then "Have a good day" encourages ... it requires actually "seeing" that person.  Some people are difficult to look at.  And some people are too busy to look.  And some people really don't want to be seen. 

Well ... my time is again "up".  Love is a huge idea.  I want to give and receive love as shelter, maybe it has to do somewhat with my intrinsic "woman-ness".  Maybe it has to do with my deep need to "feel" safe ... my vigilance/weariness in seeking to provide that for myself while knowing that for one thing safe is a construct ... and safe  ... okay, I like the wading pool and I like the deep waters ... I like both and what is between as well ... one may look safer then the other. I like the idea of love as a vessel ... and I like the idea that it may be constructed as "something" offered by each partner in the "loving" relationship.  The guy who wrote the Newman vows talked about love as creating a circle within which a group (family, by blood or by choice ... my words)'s the line: 

"... .  It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. ... . "

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