Origin of Love
The Mika song “Origin of Love” is a permanent fixture on my phones playlist, it’s a very meaningful song for me. I was listening to it, while relaxing on a transatlantic flight from Dublin. The lyrics made me start thinking about my relationship to love and how it manifests in my life. And thus, this stream of consciousness was born.
From the air I breathe,
to the love I need.
Only thing I know,
you’re the origin of love.
I am reading a book that was gifted to me by a paddling friend, The Sacred Tradition of Yoga. It is enlightening to understand how all-encompassing the practice of yoga is, philosophically, spiritual, and physically. It reveals how little I have learned so far through my practice.
In yoga, the word Priti refers to love, love where there is no expectation of anything in return. This Real or Pure love is considered love that is detached from the physical and a recognition or appreciation of the origin of love – Nature. More purely, true practitioners of yoga would say the beauty emanates from the Divine. So, when we love someone purely we have no sense of ownership or bondage. Instead, our love results from the inherent beauty within them, we are appreciating the manifestation of grace created by nature. At least, that is my understanding, have read a few chapters on the flight.
When I think about my relationships, the love within them, and the familial bonds inherent within some of them, I believe I now understand how some of our relationships develop over time. As our children leave the parental nest then so the parent-child relationship changes from that of intrinsic parental love and dependency to a deeper (Real?) love. We see them blossom into independent adulthood, no longer are they bound to us parents, we are rejoicing in their growth. I have felt this develop between myself and my own parents.
Another application of the yogic concept of Real love allowed me to reconsider how, as relationships are challenged, does love survive? If real love comes from an appreciation of the intrinsic natural origin of our being’s beauty, then our love will persist if we look beyond faults and pain, and instead choose to learn and appreciate each other for what we are; beautiful imperfect beings.
If you focus on the hurt,
you will continue to suffer.
If you focus on the lesson,
you will continue to grow
One of the things that attracts me to Greenland kayaks (Qajaq, Qaannat) is their beauty; The graceful, majestic sweeping curves of their shearlines. The skeletal frames reflecting their living relationship to nature. When I apply the yogic principles of Real love to the way being in a qajaq makes me feel, I begin to understand the origin of those feelings, the source of the joy I experience.
Can one consider the qajaq a creation of nature? I might be reaching a bit here, but for me one of differences between the experience of paddling a modern kayak and a qajaq, is the connection I feel to the origin and history of the qajaq. Built from bent driftwood and animal skins the qajaq structure is too close to that of a mammal’s skeleton and skin for it not to have been in the mind of the first qajaq builders. Nature dictated the materials, and nature inspired the design. That closeness to nature creates a joy within me. I have not felt the same feelings when paddling or looking at fiberglass kayaks. Yes, I can feel the pride of accomplishment when I make a kayak perform, but that is a self-congratulatory insular feeling, nothing like the joy of paddling a qajaq.
If you haven’t already built a qajaq then I recommend you do. Maybe then, you too, will experience the joy of Real love through appreciating their manifestation of grace and beauty.
My wife is beautiful. Seeing her makes me smile. I experience moments of joy just from looking at her. I don’t just see the externally beautiful blond-haired ex-cheerleader, I see inside her, at her intrinsic beauty. Those spontaneous moments of joy are manifestations of Real love. When we are stripped down and reduced to our common components, we are all the same flesh and bones. It is how we act and treat each other that defines our essence. I love her essence. Real (ly) love her essence.