June, 2021 Love - one word but many meanings. Let's take a look at them and marvel at the blessings love - in all its aspects - brings into our lives.
How Many Words?
I suspect we've all heard the assertion that there are 82 (or 51, or some other number) words in the Inuit language for snow. Well, believe it or not, apparently there's debate among linguists on this subject. You'd think it would be a pretty simple problem. For example, just get an English/Inuit dictionary and count the words under 'snow.' But evidently it's more complicated than that. From what I could tell after a bit of research, the problem is the concept of 'word.' There appears to be a general word for snow which is then incorporated into several what I'd call compound words or phrases describing different aspects of snow, for example, 'good snow to melt.' More than you ever wanted to know. Am I right?
Actually, I mean this tidbit to be an interesting lead to examining how many words there are for 'love' in the English language. I only count one - 'love.' This seems a great fault, since, as we all know, there are so many different kinds of love. I'll bet we can all list several: erotic or romantic love, love of a parent for a child or child for a parent, love for a pet, love for the wonder of God's creation, love for Diet Pepsi, love for a particular color of nail polish, or love for just about anything else you can think of.
In fact, there are so many different kinds of love for just one simple word to cover that, in the end, the word doesn't seem to mean much at all. Maybe this is appropriate. Maybe it's just too big a concept - even just one of the many meanings - for words. So we all just depend on each other to understand what we mean.
So what do I mean by choosing this dedication page from my first illustrated fiction book, Tales of Love and Courage from Milkweed Manor, as the image for this little article?
It illustrates several of 'love's meanings. The dedication itself is to my sister (one kind of love), my daughter (another kind), my granddaughters and son-in-law (yet another variation of the theme). Then there is the squirrel. This is Megan. I cared for her from the time she was a tiny baby until she tragically died two and a half years later. She endured too much injury and illness in her short life. But I was dedicated to her care and loved her dearly. I fervently hope that love made her life better. I know it made mine fuller, richer, and more joyful, even with the pain I felt at her troubles and then at her loss. Love is complicated, messy, enriching, elevating food for our souls.
Originally designed as a Christmas card commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in 1965, we would all recognize Robert Indiana's LOVE print even if we couldn't name the artist. It's been so famous that it's even shown up on a USPS postage stamp.
I was inspired to create an art journal spread based on that image by illustrating some of the many varieties in which love enters our lives. The piece is intended to be both humorous and serious, as well as a bit touching. I hope you enjoy it and the accompanying text.
Leapin’ lizards! Annie says they leap. I haven’t seen that, but the local lizards do push-ups, and seem very serious about it. Probably a communication thing rather than an exercise thing. Either way, it’s fascinating to watch, as they seem so very serious about it. There’s always something new to observe in the world around me, and I LOVE that.
What a difference an ‘O’ makes. It can tell you where you are in the world! If you see an opossum, you’re in the western hemisphere. On the other hand, if you see a possum, you know you’re in the eastern hemisphere. Cool. I LOVE that those cute animals are so helpful!
The goddess of that sublime experience we are born to wish for—LOVE, romantic erotic love. Some of us find it, and some never do. It enriches our lives or, if things go poorly, disappoints us greatly or can even destroy. Among the gods, Venus is powerful, and rightly so. She has a way of getting what she wants, for good or for ill.
When it comes right down to it, love is for everybody. No matter who you are or where you are, there’s always something to love: the bird on the branch, the child playing in the park, the bee gathering among the blossoms. You may not always receive love, but you can always give it and that’s where the power of LOVE lies.
My Favorite Image of Love
I used to be more active stocking my Etsy shop that I have been recently. Writing and illustrating my books just doesn't leave that much time for other things.
In my more active days, one of my favorite things to make was small ceramic figurines of animal characters, and of all those, this was the one I liked best. I was probably happy when it sold, but as I look at this photo, I wish I still had it. It's infused with meaning for me as it represents my mom, myself (oldest child) and my two sisters, one a mere babe in arms - the love within a family. When I get time, I'd like to make another.
I'm offering you, my precious subscribers, a 15% discount in my Etsy shop, TheFoxesGarden. Profits from any sales from the Bear section will go to Idaho Black Bear Rehab. Everything in the shop is hand made by me. From June 7 through 21, just use discount code JUNE15OFF at checkout. I ship the day after I receive your order, and domestic shipping is free. Click on the image of the fawn watercolor to visit my shop! (By the way, the only items that are not discounted are my books Tales of Love and Courage from Milkweed Manor and A Milkweed Christmas - The Inn at Ivy Knoll. If I discounted them, I'd be selling at a loss.)
The News from Milkweed
While sorting through old trunks and boxes in the Inn's attic, Glenna found a real treasure - the letter Graham had written her after meeting her during his visit to the Inn at Ivy Knoll where she lived with her parents. It was the beginning of a wonderful romance, a loving marriage, and a happy new family of hares. Now their daughter, Evie, is about to marry.
July - not sure yet! Let's just call it a Surprise!
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