06 September, 2010

Love as Simple Machine?

"If love were a simple machine, which machine would it be?"
This question floored me - love, a simple machine?  Yet I liked the sound of it.  What simple machine would love be?
Would it be a screw? 
A wedge?
An inclined plain?
A pulley?
Wheel and axel?
Or maybe a lever?
My daughter and I went through the different simple machines in an attempt to find the one that best defined or illustrated love as she and I believe love to be. 
Then I asked an engineer friend who promptly responded "teeter totter.  Love is give and take."
But is that love or is that a relationship?
I think of a relationship as give and take - it is the way that we can work with one another.  It is the asking for help when we need it and offering it without condition at other times.  It is accepting ourselves and others for who they are, giving them space and asking for the same; giving respect and asking for it in return.  A relationship is give and take - it is the ups and downs of a teeter totter. 
And love?
Love is a gift that expects nothing, is based on no conditions, and is just. love.  I don't know how exactly to explain it.  As another friend put it, you don't have to like the actions of a person to love them - just as someone doesn't have to give you anything in return for you to give them love. 
So. what simple machine is love?  Which simple machine offers an illustration of love in that tangible form?


BigLittleWolf said...

What a fabulous question. And I love your examples. However, I believe that with the exception of the love a parent feels for a child, it isn't a simple machine. It is a complex system - and perhaps that's part of why it eludes so many of us. Or, we expect it to be a lever, a wheel, a pulley, and we're confused when it's an inscrutable and obscured set of gears, timers, springs and wires.

Even parenting - for some - isn't a simple machine. That one, I have difficulty understanding. But it seems to be the case.

Love this post. So rich in imagery, and thoughtful.

Sara said...

Wow...you don't make your challenges easy...this is tough. I liked the teeter totter, but I think you are right...that's more of a relationship.

What came to mind for me is a sewing machine. I'm not sure it's exactly what you're saying about love. I think it's what we do with love...we create something new by sewing together pieces of our lives with others. Maybe a quilter would even more accurate. That's my best guess.

The Exception said...

This was great - The question was actually my daughter's. I have no clue where she comes up with these things. For me it is like a wheel - what goes around comes around... but then again not. It is an interesting idea and question...