How are you feeling at this exact moment?
You probably don’t know.
I don’t either. But then again, I’m not an abstract feeling with dozens of classifications. I’ll only write to some of you as I have neither the want or the brainpower to comprehend you fully. Let us start with the Ancient Greeks, who named and divided you into the many parts of which we will be exploring. All of your children, they encompass and represent your fluidity which can never be fully understood.
Of all of your children, Eros is the most common and least acknowledged. Eros is the sexual aspect of you; desire and lust. Almost all the inhabitants of earth feel the touches of Eros but we rarely question or fear it because of that normalcy.
To friendly love, Philia, I have little to say that I haven’t said before. I think Philia is the kindest of your children and the one that comforts us humans the most, although it is also the least appreciated.
Mania is your most chaotic version, the dripping and obsessive child that often worms its way into the relationships of us adolescent lovers. We feel its touch as we crave the validation of others, especially those we desire most. There is a fine line between you and your child in my past. Toxicity and Envy are two of Mania’s most cherished companions and it is never easy to let go of them together.
We are all understanding of Ludus, playful and romantic love. Your form of flirtation and fun and candlelit dinners and ukulele music. This is a fast flying, passionate child that often sweeps us off our feet when we least expect it to. Beautiful people with their beautiful personalities often attract much of Ludus’ attention. A crush, an online match, a friend who you suddenly feel strange around in a confusing but fuzzy warm way, they all are your Ludus aspect. An interesting thought, Ludus is quite fleeting, never staying for long or developing into something else entirely. Some of us are much more familiar and prone to Ludus than others but most of us are surprised by it at some point in our lives, a moment to dread and look forward to.
Lastly, most painful and most powerful of all of your forms, Agape. The unconditional and soul bending love which we feel so rarely in our lives, some never do. Those who are spared are lucky and unbroken, yet fundamentally incomplete. Do we ever meet that one person we feel like we’ve known forever and they’ve just been waiting for us to reach out and find them? That stranger who drips diamonds and sheds sunlight so bright we can barely even look at them. That is Agape.
Unfortunately Agape is not a kind love. It’s loving and loving and knowing you should stop because it might be killing you, but never being able to tear yourself away. It is sometimes the fate of those who meet their Agape to not feel it in return and accepting that is the definition of human strength and will. So don’t worry if you, dearest love, make our heart hurt so much that we can’t sleep at night or that our minds never fully forget that special someone because that strength to pick ourselves off the floor is so beautiful. Living through love is human nature.
We survive. We keep feeling. And you never stay away for long.
-Letters of Abstraction