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I was flipping through my quote journal when I noticed a recurring theme, popping up all over the place, on every second page or so. A topic close to almost everyone’s heart (in the best sense of the expression).

I guess it’s very chliché to have a collection of quotes about love. But it’s also very useful (think wedding toasts, for example)! Also, screenwriters, authors, and poets seem to enjoy the topic, which means that there is a plethora of lovely quotes to choose from out there.

So here’s  my small anthology of “love” quotes from movies, books, and general wit.

This one by Winston Churchill captures the essence of love for me. Love, not for anyone in particular maybe, but in general:

We make a living by what we get;

we make a life by what we give.

Let’s have one by Stephen King, shall we? Yes, yes, he’s actually a real romantic at heart (where else would he be a romantic), as his fantasy septology (actually, it’s now an octology, if that’s a word) “The Dark Tower” reveals in several places. This is one from Wizard and Glass (p. 355, pages may vary):

True love, like any other strong and addictive drug, is boring – once the tale of encounter and disvocery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome… except, of course, to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true first love is really only interesting to those who have become its prisoners.

Uplifting, no?

Let’s go a little more old-school, shall we? Virginia Woolf old-school, writing to her sister:

When you’re not there the colour goes out of life, as water from a sponge;

and I merely exist, dry and dusty.

Keeping with the topic of the absence of loved ones: I don’t remember the exact context now, but my mom quoted this next one to me once. Maybe I was having a rough time because I could see my boyfriend on the weekends only, or maybe it was something else. However, I’ve remembered our conversation, so this must have been relevant to my interests. Years later, I googled the quotee, and it turns out that it was Roger de Bussy-Rabutin, who said:

Absence is to love as wind is to fire;

It extinguishes the small and kindles the great.

Did you ever miss someone? Unusually Flexible Girl (Drawn Together, Season 2, Episode 4) once did, and not in a politically correct way:

I missed you more than a retard misses the point.

Sometimes the ones we miss don’t ever return. So I’m going to include a very touching poem on lost love (and the fact that you do get over it)  by Veronica A. Shoffstall:

After a While

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…

Beautiful, don’t you think? Christian Morgenstern wouldn’t be surprised:

Beautiful is anything we regard with love. The more you love the world, the more beautiful you will think it to be.

I’m not sure whether you will appreciate this next one. It’s very short, and it’s from the movie Adaptation. Donald says this at 1.33, and maybe it moves me because I remember the context and the whole feel of the film. Or maybe I just understood really well what it means at the time when I first heard it – that you can not control where your feelings go, who your heart attaches itself to, regardless of the consequences or whether there’s any reciprocity. Sometimes, it’s not a lot of fun when that happens. But it’s also right, somehow. Anyway, this is it:

You love what you love – and not what loves you.

Do you ever watch The Simpsons? If no, you should. 😉 If yes, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but there are a few moments chucked in there every once in a while that are so incredibly, unexpectedly heartwarming! It must be all the nonsense and d’oh-moments crowded around these little gems of compassion and wisdom that make the love stand out so much more, because I’m always so moved when they do or say things like Abe Simpson does in Season 5, Episode 21:

You remind me of a poem I can’t remember, a song that might never have existed, and a place I’m not sure I’ve ever been to.

Aaaand some more literature to send you off:

I read a lot of time travel books, and most of them have some sort of love theme mixed all up in that chronological confusion. Up the Line by Robert Silverberg, for example. P. 197:

This is the profundity I’ve distilled from all my experience: sex with love is better than sex without love. Q.E.D. I can also show, if you like, that to be healthy is better than to be ill, and that having money is superior to being poor. My capacity for abstract thought is limitless.

Don’t you just love this? I do.


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