They say that actions speak louder than words but I sometimes wonder if either of them are effective.. I know that the words “I love you” are sometimes over used and have become trite and cliché. I also find that there are some things that I try to “do” to say I love you are also seen as trite an cliché. I sometimes think that love is rather insignificant to life in general. It seems like a word that really carries very little importance or weight.

Look at the people around you that you think about as being in love. OK. Skip being in love and just settle for people that love each other. Look at the way they live their lives: two different worlds and interests. Yeah I know that they say that opposites attract, but I see some incredible combinations of people sometimes.

Artists with scientists. Poets with realists. Reds with browns. Summers with autumns. I sometimes wonder if love isn’t something we pressed on ourselves to fill a void. I see people that break up on Monday and have to have a new lover by the weekend. I see people who have n voice or purpose of their own. They have to be part of a couple. They have to be somebody’s something. They can’t be Joe or Jane. They have to be Joe and Jane or Joe’s Jane.

That isn’t love. And it isn’t love to need someone to be Joe’s Jane. Maya Angelou has a remarkable poem titled “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”.

A free bird leaps on the back

Of the wind and floats downstream

Till the current ends and dips his wing

In the orange suns rays

And dares to claim the sky.

But a BIRD that stalks down his narrow cage

Can seldom see through his bars of rage

His wings are clipped and his feet are tied

So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill

Of things unknown but longed for still

And his tune is heard on the distant hill for

The caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze

And the trade winds soft through

The sighing trees

And the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright

Lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams

His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

His wings are clipped and his feet are tied

So he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with

A fearful trill of things unknown

But longed for still and his

Tune is heard on the distant hill

For the caged bird sings of freedom.

Too many people allow this myth of love. This thing that we have allowed ourselves to create to make us comfortable in our fears and unwillingness to leap forth as an individual. Think about it. People who live in fear of striking out on their own hide in wasted lives. They claim love. I love her. I love my kids. I love where I am. They don’t know the meaning of love. Love is that feeling you have for freedom. That feeling you have to soar with the butterflies. Love is that manic expression that your heart longs for.

That yearning you have to sing loud and dance naked in the fields. That is the love of your life. But we have allowed ourselves to believe that giving up who we are and becoming who someone else wants us to be is love. We see ourselves as sacrificing for the better things in life. I call Bullshit. We give up the greater things of life. Freedom. Expressiveness. Creativity. Why?

To meet someone else’s expectations of who we should be, what we should look like and how we should we act.

Yea. We trade life for some wasted thought that we have created to hide behind. We keep our own selves down. We turn our backs on what keeps us happy and fulfilled for something we call love.