L O V E

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Everything in time.

Out on the balcony, I sat for a while, looking up. I was admiring the sky, which was light and bright blue, mostly, with soft brushes of white. In the distance, two gulls floated left to right, one in front of the other. I wondered if they were mates or mother and baby, squinting my eyes to see if I could get a closer look, and laughing at myself for my effort. The flight pattern was an elegant choreography; the one trailing behind seemed to follow and match every move, and I allowed myself to get lost in the sight of them. The pair of them, together but apart. Free.

I thought about what the world must look like for a bird from that high above. With my phone in my hands, I could have easily looked up that kind of information. But I am someone who both does and doesn't like to know things. There are just some things that I prefer to leave to my imagination. I just think there are some things that we don't need to know. The trouble of naming everything, with thinking we know something, that we've mastered it, takes away the splendid mystery of living, which, I happen to believe, is foundational to understanding anything about Love.

The birds met into a single point before beginning a new pattern of flight. Now, they were bobbing and weaving with one another, braiding the sky. It was beautiful. And a curious, inspiring warmth washed over me.

Earlier in the afternoon, I saw a friend. Over a couple glasses of chilled French wine, beneath the heat of the August sun, he asked me if I've ever been in Love. I surprised myself when I laughed at the question, and in a rare moment of total, unfiltered honesty, I said, "I've been in unhealthy entanglements that I've confused for love." Later, I added, "I'm not sure if Love between two people exists in the way we understand it to-- Love seems like something else entirely, and I think the trouble starts when we try to name it.”

Watching those birds, I was reminded that I believe in beauty. You see, I have high hopes for this life, for Love. For all people's potential, including my own. Love isn't specific. What it is, is ripe with potential. Love doesn't have to reduce its partners. Instead, Love's greatest strength is that it can magnify the possibility of what each person can be.

Everyone is looking for Love, but Love is accessible everywhere. What I think we need to look for is beauty. And anyway, one begets the other, don't you think? Do both not startle the heart?

Jocelyn M. Ulevicus has a background in Social Work, Psychology, and Public Health. Her work focuses on exploring the terrain of family violence and re-humanizing oneself after trauma, and has been published in magazines such as Mindful Matter, Entropy, and Life in Ten Minutes. Ms. Ulevicus currently resides in Amsterdam and is finalizing her first book, a memoir, titled The Birth of A Tree. If you'd like to get in touch with her, send her an email at: heart@ardentheart.me. She'll probably write you a love note or two.

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