Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Greeks and Lizards and Love, Oh My! (An Exercise in Finding Clarity)

A recent photo of me, sunning on the back porch.

Befuddled and with muddled brains in my box is what I've been the past few days. I hear it's going around. Such a nasty little virus it is. No clarity of thought, no focus. Nada, zilch, the big fat zero.

My only thought right now is that I should sit and begin writing. I've done this before and it helps. (It helps me, not you. You get the choice of saying, "What a load of crap this is!" and moving along to the next blog to find one worthy of your time and attention. But, me...well...I'm stuck with this fogged up piece of gray gelatin now aren't I?)

So, in an attempt at untangling my little ball of brains, here we go.

*The Greeks have four words for love. Did you know this? Eros, Storge, Philia and Agape. They break it down so there's no mistaking what it means when someone says, "I love you." Now how bleeding helpful would THAT be when you're a single trout and trying to land yourself a proper fish?! I'm seriously digging the fact that the Greeks can tell you whether or not they merely feel some sort of affection for you and desire that you not be plowed under by an 18-wheeler, or if they feel so affectionate towards you that they want to throw you to the ground and do unspeakable things to you in the name of romantic passion. They also have a word for the type of love that family members often share. (Possibly not some Arkansas or West Virginia families who name their children Billy Bob and Jethro and mate with their cousins, but you know...normal families.)

I began thinking about this because the word "love" gets thrown around in the most wretched way and it kind of depresses me a bit. My very least favorite is when someone whom I know hasn't acquainted themselves with me well enough to have even formed an opinion of whether or not they like me, tells me that they love me. It's often in the context of them feeling for some reason, an obligation to tell me. Another thing that irritates me is when someone so overuses the phrase that it becomes meaningless. If you "love" everyone and everything, then tell me that you love me, I feel that I can only conclude I am on the same par with your diamond ring, the bread you bought at the bakery this morning, your new red coat, the movie you saw at the theater last night and very probably the new face cream you just purchased because it makes your look so very young and firm-ish.

We need more words. We need to barge in and pillage some more vocabulary words from those lovely people who really know how to make killer souvlaki and who know how to properly say those precious three little words.

*The area of Arizona in which I live (the barren desert part) was not meant for human habitation. This I firmly and fervently believe and to which I will testify. Bring me before a judge and I'll place my hand on the Good Book (You know the one..."101 Things You Can Make With Vodka?") and swear on my life to the fact that where there is no naturally occurring water, there is no naturally occurring human life.

I have dehydrated bits and pieces on my personage that I didn't know could dehydrate. The inside of my nostrils have chronic sores. My head has begun to break out in dry patches, forcing me to purchase and use shampoo that costs $15 a bottle. Holy shit. My hair is dry, my lips are dry, my skin is dry. There is no need here to buy such things as dehydrated fruit. Want a tasty little banana chip? Slice one up and throw it on a plate and wait a couple of days. Bam! Banana chips. When we moved in to our new home, we purchased the Mega Super Duper Kick Ass Water Softener and Filtration Thingy. I cannot in my wildest imaginations, comprehend what I would look like without soft water coming out of the faucets, because with two thousand dollars worth of softened and filtered water tumbling over my body every day, I resemble a human sized lizard. I'm going through gallons of lotion. Stock tip: Invest heavily in Johnson & Johnson. Their stock should be going up....

*It just occurred to me that I've told some of you that I love you. Let me clarify. I Philia you. Sounds cool, huh? Kind of like the American version of "I feel ya, "meaning, "Hey, man. I totally get where you're comin' from, Bro and...I like you, dig it?" (Shut up. I know I have no street cred.) The American, "I feel ya" (or "you" if you're super Caucasian) actually comes close to conveying the sentiment of the Greek, philia, which is a brotherly type of love. Not brotherly as in your actual brother, but in a brotherhood of mankind sort of way. It means you feel a sort of kinship with someone. That's how I feel about my Bloggy Friends. Kinship. Philia.

*I have not been the person I wish myself to be and have not been true to Self. I have not used my voice at times because feared I would damage already fragile bonds and tenuous relationships. I have not been Me in certain situations because by the very nature of being Me, I thought that acceptance might not come from certain people. Recently, I had the occasion to be Me. To express how I feel and what I believe. The circumstance arose by being confronted with an issue I very strongly disagreed with and I had a choice to stay silent or speak up. As I rolled the choice around in my head, I heard a voice and it was saying very confidently, "Be courageous!" So, I was. Some might not think it was a very big deal and of little importance. Some might, and have already, blown it up into proportions far greater than it deserved.

I realize you have no idea what I'm talking about and maybe I'll tell you sometime. The point of telling you what I have, is that this Land of Blog has taken me places I never dreamed I'd go. That voice inside my head was one of a woman I've never heard speak, but with whom I communicate regularly via our blogs and e-mail. She tells me she loves me and that she is my friend and I believe her. She teaches children English and many other things, most certainly not the least of which, is to "Be Courageous!"

It's amazing what can happen when you reach out into the universe and become willing to touch and be touched by people who think differently, speak differently, eat differently, love differently and pray differently than that which is familiar to you. So much can be learned when you're willing to listen and when you truly try to understand.

To my dear Bloggy Friend who taught me from across the ocean to not be afraid to use my voice and to practice courage, I truly do love you.

And to the rest of you, if you've made it this far, as always...many, many thanks. Getting to know you through the comments you leave and the blogs you write has been, and continues to be a great pleasure. In other words, "I feel ya."


Lee Ryan said...

I'm a Philia 'n you too Amy!!


Andrea said...

Ok, you've done it again! You've pulled me in with what you're saying, all the while I'm feeling ya too - I completely understand you. I have to honestly say that I philia you and your writing!

ellen abbott said...

Really a great post but now I want to know what the other words mean. Well, OK, eros, I get, but the other two?

I totally get what you said about not being the person you are. Unfortunately, I'm always the person I am and should learn to keep my mouth shut once in a while. I might have more friends if I did.

Move to the Gulf Coast. Our skin is always nice and plump and juicy, she says as she scoops the sweat off her face.

Kathy G said...

I think that if enough people start using the word philia it could be the next big "thing"!

Thanks for your words about being true to yourself. I have a similar situation where someone I love is making a choice to do something I find repugnant. After thinking a lot, I decided I needed to express my opinion about it. Otherwise I will continue to be frustrated and angry.

Amy said...

Lee - I barely know ya, but I Philia you, too. (Thanks, by the way.)

Andrea - As always, you make my heart glad with your words and help me feel understood. Hugs to you for that.

Ellen - Thanks for the compliment and I'll be happy to oblige! Of course Eros is erotic or sexual love. (Woo hoo! Starting my morning off with a zing!) Storge is familial love between brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and conveys commitment. Agape is the highest form of love and trancends character flaws, weaknesses, behaviors. (This is your Dalai Lama type of love for Mankind.)

And, I think the reason I'm feeling so lizard like is due to the fact that I moved from Texas a few months ago and my body is completely freaking out missing that humidity. I'm envying that sweat you're scooping right now.

Kathy - Thanks for your comment. I think you're right. Let's make Philia the next big thing!

My advice (and I know you didn't ask)is to most certainly speak your mind. But, I have a rule when doing so. Choose words wisely so that the recipient of them hears that what you're saying is being said out of care and compassion. "Word choice and tone of voice." Another mantra of mine.

Good luck, Kathy.

Reya Mellicker said...

Love right back at you, Amy. I for one believe in tossing that word around as much as possible. Love is the greatest power there is (imo). The more, the merrier.

How the word is used and especially tone of voice, facial expression, etc. explains exactly what it's about.

Those Greeks - so analytical! I think love is beyond definition, even beyond comprehension.

Sending lots of it in your direction. Feel better soon!

Missy said...

Amy...amazing again. You mentioned one of my favorite things about blogging-people are different. I gain a lot from different perspectives and it helps me to see my world differently-challenging and often refreshing.

veach st. glines said...

Well I find your thoughts on the different shades of love reminded me of this post which I wrote in the summer of 2005, when I was living in Phoenix.

Fragrant Liar said...

I believe you're right ultimately that when you speak out loud and request something from the universe, the universe delivers what you ask for.

What a great post.

As an aside, one of the Playgirl articles I did a few years ago had a quiz. And one of the quiz words was phallophilia. Which is a love of (or sexual desire for) -- I'll let you guess what. I love linguistics. Such fascinating things when you put word origins together.

Amy said...

Reya - Thanks! Always willing to accept some love.

Missy - Isn't it great?! We get to "meet" all of these different people from everywhere and from all walks of life. We get to find out how cool our differences are and how much we are alike.

FL - Hmmmm...trying to guess what the word might possibly mean....(HA!) So, were you READING Playgirl or writing an article for it? I'm all twitterpated now!

Veach - I just opened up my blog for the first time this weekend and boy, has everyone been busy! I have some catching up to do, but will stop by and read that post. Thanks for popping in!

Bee and Rose said...

I live in the dry hot desert of southern AZ lips are parched, my hair looks like straw...ugh...

I am glad you reached out to the Land of Blog! It is my sincere pleasure to read your blog!

Angela said...

Meine liebe Amy, ja, ich meine es so: Ich hab Dich lieb! Danke für Deine mail, I feel humbled and happy to read your words. And maybe what I do mean is really Agape, because what i am trying to send you is not only courage, but a true belief in yourself. I already have it and know you are a wonderful, wise woman! And yes, I do love you, dear!

Lee Ryan said...

Amy -

I've passed an award to you! If you want to accept - please drop by my site and pick it up!!

Cubil said...

RE: the pic; that chair could use a new cushion!

Glynis said...

I live in Cyprus...the Greek side ;0
Here are a couple this crazy Brit learned to say
Se Thelo = I want you
I adore you =Se latrevo

Unfortunately I have not learned to say wash the dishes after se thelo, so hubby thinks he is onto a winner! LOL
Enjoyed my visit :)

Amy said...

Glynis - Thanks so much for stopping by! (That's quite a trip from Cyprus!) I'm SO going to use the new Greek you just taught me. When you learn how to add "to do the dishes," please teach me!!

Many, many thanks for dropping by and for the comment.