It was hard to sort out what to say in this blog right now. It's been crazy recently. We're in a strange lockdown, many businesses forced to close or at least limit people coming in. My job has been deemed 'essential,' so I'm working, but we're at half strength and working restricted hours, so we don't burn out our remaining staff.
I'm looking forwards to the day this ends, and I can write about how things did, or did not, change after COVID-19.
A meme inspired this post. It went something like this: Instead of thinking of self-isolation as punishment, think of it as the greatest demonstration of love humanity has ever performed.
Because what I'm seeing right now is a lot of love out there.
In my area, the kids are hanging hearts in the windows. Our house is up a hill, so we walked down the driveway and drew hearts on the drive with chalk and hung hearts in the trees. Then we walked, husband, wife and son, through the neighbourhood and looked for the hearts.
I'm seeing people diverting their businesses to help selflessly (here's looking at you Sheringham Distillery), offering to drive and deliver (Comb and Collar Grooming!) to people trapped, and supporting the community with information (District of Sooke Emergency Operations Centre).
So this post is going to be about love.
I've been writing someone learning a fantasy-world "English" as their second language, and it's been fascinating to bring to light some lapses in the language. English is silly; we have only one word for love, despite what the thesaurus may say. "Love" and "fondness" are not the same thing. Neither does endearment, devotion, adoration, doting, idolization, or others really capture the definition of "love". Those are aspects of love, but not the whole thing. Yet, we have only one word for love.
When I check the dictionary, there are only three definitions of "love."
1. Deep affection for someone
2. Deep romantic or sexual attachment
3. Like or enjoy very much
In my mind, there are six kinds of love. I'm stealing from Rydans here (something you'll find in the world of Espar), but it ought to show what I mean.
Here are the six versions of love I wish we had words to differentiate.
1. Love for a thing, something you like or enjoy very much. It's a weak emotion, this kind of love. I love my bicycle, for instance. (Tinluv in Rydan)
2. The love of a good friend, someone you are close to and will follow. This comes with loyalty and shared trust. (Faluv in Rydan; the love between follower and leader)
3. A family's love. Close family, a love that you don't always think about, but never wavers. The love of a mother, siblings, or guardian. (Famluv in Rydan)
4. The love of a larger group, like an extended family, or a clan, or even a country. Something you don't know personally, but are bound to and care about. Patriotism. (Claluv in Rydan)
5. Foolish, desperate love. This is the love that blinds people and drives them to do crazy things in passion. It can be manipulative if one-sided (Foluv to the Rydans, and a terrible thing!)
6. Sweet love, true love. A love that is soul-binding. Absolute trust and support. A good marriage or a soul-mate. (Rydan's don't recognize this one! They think it's foluv)
Right now, I have seen so much of number 4. We've come together as a province and as a country. We're sacrificing freedoms and our own desires to protect each other. I am personally at minimal risk of being significantly ill should I get COVID-19. But I know my mother and father are at high risk. I also know my clients consist of a high proportion of elderly. And I know that if I go down, my work family suffers.
So I'm letting go of tinluv, minor things I would like to do, and talking to my family regularly to show my famluv. I'm leading my work-family with deep faluv, and staying isolated with my loving husband. That is how I demonstrate the claluv I have for my community, the province and my country.
The Rydans believe no love is greater than claluv. The greater good for the clan must prevail.
We are not alone. We are in this together. Just look at the hearts in the windows.
D. Lambert, author
Fantasy novels that entice, inspire, and entertain.