Thursday, February 14, 2013

What is Love? by Dean K. Miller

Dean K Miller is a freelance writer and member of Northern Colorado Writers. His work has appeared in TROUT Magazine, Torrid Literature Journal IV: The D.N.A. of the Poet and online.

Employed as an air traffic controller, Dean volunteers for Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, enjoys family and fly fishing. He is close to finishing his first novel.

A far more entertaining bio is hidden away on Dean's website. You can sneak over and get your chuckles at your leisure.

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What is love? by Dean K. Miller


It’s the question of the ages. Attempts to answer this fabled query have been made by writers, musicians, fortune tellers and more.

After raising three daughters and observing their generation, my first inclination is to say: “It’s what comes right before the word ‘pink’ on a pair of non-pink sweat pants and is only visible from the rear.”



Butt…sorry–I mean but, there certainly must be more to it. If not, we are surely doomed.

We writers work hard to “show love” rather than tell about it. “Lucas smiled from across the room. Jenny’s neck flushed, her heart skipped a beat, and she fumbled her teacup. ” Rather than “Jenny loved Lucas, especially when he smiled at her.”

“Ah,” you say, “That’s what love is.”

But, here’s the rub; it’s not. Our physical reactions, evoked by what we experience as love are but physical reactions. A flushed neck, sweaty palms or a faster heartbeat – aren’t these also the physical reactions to embarrassment? To anger?

So again, “What is love?”

I would reply, “Love is the primal force of life. It is pure energy, a cosmic vibration allowing us to react in the above mentioned ways, and many others. Love is so kind it doesn’t make us act strange or feel ‘all funny.’ It lets us come together and experience those feelings in our own, unique style.”

And therein lays its most intimate secret: Its unending power to move us.

Ultimately our writing, be it articles, blogs or books, should achieve this goal; move the reader from their current moment of now, into the world we’ve created with our words. It matters little if they realize it is love transporting them, only that we (using the love which surrounds, inspires and moves us) open the door to a new place.

It’s the kind of place that transforms a moment in life into a story about a father, a souvenir hair scrunchie and his daughter leaving for college, which provides an opportunity to move others as well.

I draw much of my writing inspiration from fly fishing. Being on the river, surrounded by the sounds of nature, I’m taken away to another dimension, a result of love energy in motion. Catching a fish, whether big or small, and seeing its beautiful color expands the magnitude of that dimension. There, love is even stronger.

Returning home changed, I write.

Let love take you to this magical place.

It will inspire a lifetime of writing.

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Thanks, Dean. This is the perfect valentine to send a writer.  And here's a nice bonus for one lucky person from the U.S. or Canada who leaves a comment on this post before midnight Mountain Time Friday (tomorrow). Dean is giving away one copy of the upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul book series titled Parenthood. It contains his essay, Fabric of my Memories.The winner will be announced here on Saturday.

The photograph of "Love Pink" was taken by Sydney Miller, who apparently declined to have her dad take the photo while she was wearing the sweat pants.

The photo of Dean fishing (and most likely in deep fishing meditation mode) was taken by Kerrie Flanagan.

Learn lots more about Dean at his website and blog. He also hangs around Facebook and is really good about retweeting his tweeps' tweets on Twitter.

20 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - Thanks for hosting Dean.

Dean - What an interesting question to address. Love takes many forms but yes, it is a primal and critical force in life.

Dean K Miller said...

Margot: Good morning and thanks for stopping by. Is this the only answer? Probably not, but that's what makes "love" so interesting.

Thanks Pat for letting me be a part of your blog world!

Laurel Garver said...

Love is such an essential part of story it's hard to pull it away to investigate exactly how it functions. I remember hearing publisher Arthur Levine (who acquired Harry Potter for the US market) answering an audience question about "What makes a book publishable?" His answer? Love.

Kerrie said...

Perfect post to start this Valentines Day. Pat, thanks for giving Dean some blog space. Dean, thanks for ANOTHER wonderful post. I was trying to figure out my favorite part to highlight, but when I found one, then I saw another and then another...so it boils down to, I like the whole darn post. :-)

Dean K Miller said...

Laurel: the quote from Arthur Levine is wonderful and probably the best reason of all.

Kerrie: thanks for your kind words and continued support. As I read your comment I thought for sure you'd write "whole damn post" but I forgot...this is a "G" Rated site.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I guess my magical place is when I'm playing my guitar.

Dean K Miller said...

Alex: I've always admired those with musical abilities. I tried, but never let go of my insecurities to really make a serious run of it. So I let others take me on their journeys and enjoy the ride.

Julie Luek said...

What is love-- a question I'm not sure I could even begin to dismantle and answer. I know this: the feeling I have for my children is primal and fierce. A love that would give my own life. What I feel in the outdoors is peace and gentleness and refreshment. Vital to my soul, but not sure I'd call it love. Great post.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Dean, it's so nice to have your perfect post up for Valentine's Day. The timing of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Parenthood edition couldn't have been any better.

Dean K Miller said...

Julie: The bond between parent and child is like no other, that is for sure. The others moments you describe, I find that to be along the lines of "love of self" which serves/supports the love we give to our children. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

Pat: Sometimes it falls into place, usually when I get out of the way. I am honored to be here today.

Baja Rock Pat said...

Great post, Dean. To me, love is everything. Like the Beatles said, "All you need is love." It really is at the core of what life is all about. When we look inside ourselves and truly accept without judgment, what we see there--that is love. It has to start with one's self. And the definition of love is different for each person. Some find it through music, some through fly-fishing on a river or through being in nature, meditation, prayer, or even through participating in extreme sports. But the fact that we're all different is what makes the world so wonderful.

Here's to each of us discovering, then living our own sense of wonder and love!

Fida Islaih said...

Thanks for sharing this.

Dean K Miller said...

Baja Pat: As you so well know, we each receive/understand love in our own way. Continue to enjoy yours!

Fida: thanks for stopping by here and my blog. I am grateful for Pat's kindness to let me share my words.

M. K. Theodoratus said...

A nice reminder that in order to write we must disassociate ourselves from the mundane.

Dean K Miller said...

Kay: certainly true, but even in the mundane we might find inspiration and move from there, yes?

RaShelle Workman said...

What a great post. =)

Dean K Miller said...

Hey RaShelle...thanks! Good luck in the drawing for the book.

Patricia Stoltey said...

And for those dropping by for the first time tomorrow, a reminder that comments count until midnight Mountain Time Friday night. The winner will be announced on Saturday.

Dean K Miller said...

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment. I'm headed out the door to do some fly fishing today. I'll get the winner's name from Pat later today and get in touch to mail out the "Parenthood" book on Tuesday.

It's been a great pleasure,and thanks again to Pat for letting me swim around in the cool ocean that is her blog.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Dean, it was my pleasure having you here. I'll post the winner's name around noon today...