Do You Believe In Love?

Do You Believe In Love? by Keri Kettle

I am sixteen and we are laying on the carpet at someone’s house in the dark talking about how ridiculous the idea of love is.  We were sure we had figured out that the songs and the books and the movies that talked about the power of love to transform and to overcome all were just a way to sell us songs and books and movies.  I think we decided that love was just something imagined by advertising executives.  We felt so certain in our knowledge being superior to all those silly adults trying to sell us crap.

Doesn’t it feel good to just KNOW something when you are at a time in your life when everything seems so uncertain?

As we faced these huge decisions about college and where to begin our path in life, it felt so comforting to at least know that we had figured out one of life’s big mysteries.  We at least knew we could check love off the list of things we had to deal with.  It was even more comforting to be laying there, on the carpet in the dark with friends, and to all agree and feel so sure of being right.  Even if that certainty didn’t last much longer than the party.

Those days of laying on each other like piles of puppies, finding certainty in the collective wisdom of the group, ended after high school.  In college, conversations like this would very quickly turn in to debates where we each happily took advantage of the opportunity to reference whatever we had been reading lately – dropping names of 19th Century philosophers and obscure literary tracts like pebbles spilling out of a too-full bucket.  By our thirties, we all had learned that raising the concept of love and truth in mixed company was in poor taste.

We are left to face so many of our grown-up decades without much in the way of certainty. Maybe we have a group of friends that we mostly agree with about politics or parenting or gluten.  Maybe we don’t.  Maybe we aren’t so sure that talking about love and death and the meaning of our time here on earth is acceptable conversation over coffee or on the sidelines of the soccer field.

As I hit the middle of my forties, I wonder if I am old enough to start talking about these things again.  Have we all developed a thick enough skin? God knows my skin is tougher than it was when I was sixteen (physically and emotionally).  Maybe it’s time to talk about the meaning of love and life again.  So, I’ll start with this question – do you believe in love?

Please share your thoughts.