his manifesto is dedicated to everyone who knows what the true definition is to the word between lovat and lovebird in the Oxford Paperback Dictionary, Fourth Edition.
It's cheesy and corny and, believe it or not, a lot of people don't like to talk about it. There is no luck involved and there is nothing to be ashamed of. It's one of the strongest feelings I've ever felt in my life. It's an amazing feeling and it's one of the simplest things I've ever done in my life. I learned to love. It's easy to learn.
Many people have struggled to come to the grips of what it is to love and what it means to be in love with someone. Artists abound have dedicated their lives trying to capture the essence of love on canvas, paper, through music and many other mediums. I'm not going to preach from a pedestal here and say that what I will no doubt write from here on is what other people have spent hundreds of years trying to capture. This will not be the definitive summation of love, but it will (hopefully) end up as what it is I feel every time I look at the woman who has made me an entire person. And hopefully if anyone else gets that funny tingle in the pit of your stomach when you read it, you'll at least have some idea of what I'm talking about.
I was recently an usher in a wedding party. It was the second time I'd ever been in a wedding party, counting my own wedding. I've always wondered what it be like to see what I no doubt looked like on the day of my wedding. To have that new perspective on the marriage ceremony was something I thought I needed see.
I saw what others saw of me a couple years ago as I stood in front of family, friends and God and told everyone who has meant something in my life that I was choosing the woman I loved and that I would love, honor and cherish her for the rest of my days.
I saw the nervousness that I denied having and the anticipation of starting a new chapter in my life that would shape me for new beginnings.
As it turned out, my wife was a bridesmaid in the wedding. I remember during the ceremony, looking over at her and smiling. She smiled back and I knew no matter what was going on in front of us, we were thinking about our own wedding.
On the drive home from the wedding, she asked me a question.
"During the ceremony, do you remember what you were doing?"
"No," I replied. "What was I doing?"
"I didn't know if you were doing it on purpose or not," she said. "But I liked it."
"What was I doing?" I persisted.
She proceeded to tell me that I was playing with my wedding ring. I was turning it around and around on my ring finger. I told her that whenever I am deep in thought, I unconsciously and sometimes consciously, turn my ring around on my finger until I figure my thoughts out. I told her I do it a lot while I'm writing, staring at the screen blankly until an idea pops into my head. She looked over at me and simply answered my explanation with:
"Every time you turn that ring around, that's me giving you good vibes."
I thought about that a lot for a while and came to a realization. The simple act of touching the symbol of our union did actually give me ideas and help me get through some tough thoughts. It has in the past and I know it will in the future as well. I played with the ring just before sitting down to write this manifesto. I think in some weird way, love really does come through each time you touch your wedding ring. And it's nice to know that she's always thinking of me and in my times of need, she's around in one way or another.
I guess in some ways Bryan Adams was right. Everything we do, we really do for each other.
When I was first asked to be in this wedding party, I told the bride and groom that I would be more than happy to be involved, with the stipulation that I didn't have to make a speech. There's a whole nervous in front of crowds factor that played a major role in that decision.
During the speeches at the wedding reception, I kept waiting for my name to be called to say a few words to the bride and groom. I knew it wouldn't be called, but I did end up whipping up a few words in my head that would be the basis for a speech I would make in an emergency.
My name was never called, but the words that were the basis for my speech were magic and love. I'd woven a lot of part-sentences together that would be my speech and this is mostly what I remember of it:
There is something about weddings that really touches people in ways they find hard to explain. The people can claim it's happiness for the bride and groom, but I have a different theory. I think it's magic. And with the magic of a wedding comes two people who will say vows. And with two people who say vows comes love. It's easy for me to stand here and simplify this entire day by saying love is magic. But I know it's true. That's what the feeling is you get in the pit of your stomach when you meet that person for the first time. That's the feeling you get when you see that person smile and when you hold their hand. Magic lifts you up and love holds you in place. Today, these two people were brought together by magic and bound by love. To the rest of your days, I wish you all the happiness one shared life will allow.
That was my unwritten, unsaid speech. I'm sure if I did try to deliver it, it wouldn't have turned out the same either. But as I wrote it down, I found myself thinking about my wife again.
Here's what I think love is. Love is seeing that one person's face every time you say the word "love". Whether it's you saying, "I love you" directly to that person as you look them in the eyes, or if you say something like "I'd love a cup of coffee" and their face pops into your head at the mere mention of the word.
I've always been a big fan of love songs. But not crappy love songs, or extremely obvious love songs with titles like "Love is a Wonderful Thing" or "Love can Move Mountains." I like a little more meaning to a love song. I like a little metaphor mixed in with my love songs. I've always told myself that there would be a million quotes I could use in speeches when describing love or love-related thoughts.
When I was married, it was a tough decision picking one song to sum up our relationship up until that point. We tossed around all kinds of songs. Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" and Chantal Kreviazuk's "Green Apples" to name a couple.
My then fiancée and I were driving around one night and a song came on the radio and we knew immediately that it would be our song. Bryan Adams' "I'll Always Be Right There" played and it touched a chord within either of us that now, whenever we hear the song, we always seem to do something simple like hold hands of have a sweet, shared glance between each other.
Springsteen wrote a couple good songs about love and marriage. While I was coming up with my impromptu speech at this wedding, I found myself saying a couple lines from Springsteen songs. "Won't you be in my book of dreams" and "I've been searching for my beautiful reward". Both are equally powerful when taken in the context of weddings. I even used one of them in our wedding card message.
Love has been around since the beginning. Love made us who we are and it shaped us to be what we are. People have written about love for ages and no one will ever write anything new about love that no one has never felt before. What people will do is find new ways for us to experience love for other people. When we read a book where one of the characters falls in love, we fall in love all over again.
Love is not new. Love is something we make new every time we look into our lover's eyes and remember why we are in love with that person.
Love is not hard. Love is the easiest thing you'll ever do in your life.
Love does not come disguised. You'll know it when you find the real thing. You'll tremble at the thought of him or her and your heart will race and you'll feel a slight twinge in your stomach that can only say one thing: They're the one.
To everyone who knows what love is and how powerful it can be, I hope some of this makes sense.
To everyone who is waiting for love to find him or her, there is always someone out there who is waiting to be found.
To my wife: for you and only you do I do the things I do. You're the satellite in my eye. You're the tiny dancer in my hand.