We all use the term love liberally, and we all have our own ideas of what love means. It is actually amazing how many images the word can conjure up, and how many ways it can be interpreted. Love is similar to a kaleidoscope. There are a myriad of pieces all contained in the cylinder, and although the pieces don’t change, each time the cylinder is turned, they form a completely different pattern. The possibilities are endless. So, too, is love.

Sometimes love is soft and cuddly. Sometimes it is stern and strong. Sometimes it may even seem unkind. It has as many pieces as the kaleidoscope, and we are so busy just experiencing it, that we rarely take the time to ponder the big picture. It just keeps happening with or without us. It may be the glue that binds us together.

Some people find that love leads them places they would not go on their own. For example, a couple dating: the girl may never have had a desire to play tennis. Then she begins dating a guy who loves tennis, and because she loves him she finds herself taking it up. She may even enjoy it enough to start loving it herself, and yet had she not loved him, she may never have thought to try it. Sharing interests is one way to spread love. Indeed, sharing is a very large part of love. Through sharing we have many opportunities to spread love, and I personally believe that love exists to be spread.

Sometimes, though, love takes a harder path. Sometimes we see someone doing something we know is not good for them, or something we feel will bring harsh consequences in the future. If we try to pretend it isn’t happening, we may be enabling them to experience more pain. Love may call on us to honestly speak of our concerns, in order to help others see things from a different perspective. Tough love, but love just the same.

Sometimes, love gives us the energy to keep doing the same things day in and day out, because we are doing it for our loved ones. When things get boring and repetitive, they seem much more bearable when we love the person we are doing them for. Giving and receiving are both parts of love.

Many of our lessons and patterns, if not all of them, have different forms of love attached. We can love our food, our parents, our school; animate or inanimate objects, and we can experience love with our senses. We can also experience love using no sense at all. We experience it through our body, our mind, and our soul, and I personally don’t know one person who has not experienced love in one form or another. Which form it takes may be up to us, or it may just happen. Either way, we will experience it. Energy cannot be seen, and yet we know it exists, and love is often described as energy, although it is also a word that has defied description.

Love is inherent in art and music. In fact, I wonder if either of these things could exist without it. As an artist, I love the feeling of getting into a painting and thinking like the thing I am trying to paint. When I listen to certain music sung in Italian, even though I don’t know the language, I have no doubt they are singing about love. It has a sound. When you picture all the little bits and pieces of love, it is indeed like looking down the tube of a kaleidoscope. If we are lucky, we will love the pattern we see.

Angela is a local artist. She is an active member of the Federation of Canadian artists, gaining countrywide recognition.

She can be reached at 250-830-0181, getin2it@oberon.ark.com or visit www.myartclub.com