If we cannot love everything and everyone,
can we, truly, love anything or anyone?
In choosing whom or what we love (if such choice were possible),
do we not proclaim that our judgment is larger than life itself?
Is not that choice an illusion?
If we love only what we think we love, are we not, then,
defining love and placing on it certain limitations?
Would it not be better to be defined by love,
than to try to define it?
Are we so small in our uncertainty and fear that we must love
only that which pleases us, or which we think reflects well on us,
or which loves us in return? If so, how can we call that love?
It is a grave error we make in thinking that anything exists
outside of love.
Can you, in your deepest thought and contemplation,
say which part of you loves and which does not?
If you say the mind loves, or the heart loves,
or that love is harbored in various glands and organs,
what, then, of the rest of you? Are parts of you worthy
or unworthy of love? Is love necessary to one part,
but not to another?
Is love a condition that changes with history,
time, and weather?
And what of the insane?
Are we love’s orphans, love’s abandoned step-children?
William Michaelian is an American writer, artist, and poet. His newest book is the Tenth Anniversary Authorized Print Edition of his first novel, A Listening Thing. His Author’s Press Series now contains three volumes: The Painting of You, No Time to Cut My Hair, and One Hand Clapping. Two poetry collections, Winter Poems and Another Song I Know, were published in 2007 by Cosmopsis Books. He lives in Salem, Oregon.
I thought my most recent painting, Royal Song (the first image), might work with the pulsing ebb and flow of William Michaelian’s poem. Love and gold work together on some mysterious level. There is a lot of air (and thought) in this poem and the painting depicts a scroll and throne (in the open air) beneath a sun. The idea of light informing the conscious mind influenced my variations on the original image.