On the walk home from Preschool this morning, I stopped at Book Culture on Columbus. Because Valentine's Day is fast approaching, there was a little display of love books on a table near the door. I stood there, bundled in my city winter gear, and smiled. I scooped up book after book and it felt indulgent, but also okay. I'm trying not to buy many things these days. Cutting back on clothes and shoes and stuff I don't need. But books are another thing entirely I've decided. They are experiences. They are windows.
I came home and showered and now I sit in my bathrobe at the big computer in our little purple library. I started looking through old, cherished photos (see the above family shot). I just read a piece in the New Yorker that was exquisite, but heart-wrenching and then I flipped open one of my new little books, How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh. I stumbled upon this:
UNDERSTANDING IS THE NATURE OF LOVE
Understanding someone's suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love's other name. If you don't understand, you can't love.
There is something very powerful about this even though I'm not sure I understand it entirely or necessarily agree. I do think the more we understand something or someone, the more capacity we have to love and appreciate that something, that someone. I also think that the more we understand ourselves, the more room we have to love ourselves. But I also believe that we can love without clarity, without making sense, without connecting dots...
Okay, now my brain is hurting. In the best possible way. What do you guys think? Can we love without understanding?