One of my favorite quotes is from Mozart:
"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius."
Although I'm sure he was talking about this in relationship to music and I usually think about it in terms of theatre, I also think it applies to love of people/animals. Now, I am in no way saying I'm a genius. Mozart was probably saying that he was, but he was, so that's okay. So rather than "genius" what I guess I should say is "that incredibly warm fuzzy feeling deep down in your psyche that you can't put into words but makes you feel whole." That doesn't flow as nicely as what Wolfy said, though.
I think I first experienced that feeling with my dad. Sunday morning when my mom and sister went to mass and I got to stay home with daddy was the highlight of my week. In winter we'd watch Jon Gnagy Art Lessons on PBS and play house and in summer we'd take long walks and get popsicles. It was the only time during the week anyone played with me at all, and it was heaven.
When I started to school and made friends, I felt that same connection. Here were people who really liked me and wanted to be around me, how cool was that? I am still friends with three girls I met in grade school, and I love them as dearly today as I did 145 years ago.
Then, of course, when I had my kids my love meter went through the roof. That is an undescribable feeling, so I won't even try. But if you have kids, you know what I mean.
I have an incredible group of friends here in The Ham. Some I don't get to talk to/see on a regular basis, but I love them all dearly and I think of them a lot. Whenever we see each other, we invariably say goodbye and "I love you." To some people, this might seem like a theatre affectation, but to me it's a lifeline. My parents/sister never said that to me. And from the way my mother and sister often treated me, I don't know that I would have believed them if they had. So, needy as I may be, hearing that from my dear, wonderful friends on a regular basis is important to me.
And now I have The Kitties. Dianne, Holly and Kathleen all told me that the cats would change my life and I pooh-poohed them. Well, lovies, I rescind my pooh-poohs. I adore my kitties. I can't wait to get home after rehearsal to see them. They are both little lovebugs and truly feed my soul.
You may notice that this treatise has no mention of "romantic" (or as I call it "non-existent") love. I have never been very good at that. Huzzah for you if you have it, but it just ain't for me, so I don't feel qualified to blog about it.
But anyway you get it, love is pretty fucking awesome. Love you guys.