The Love Interviews, part one
Love is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “an intense feeling of deep affection.” John Lennon’s song, “Mind Games” croons, “love is the answer and only you know that for sure. Love is a flower; you’ve got to let grow.” James Baldwin stipulates a more frigid sentiment in his speech, “In Search of a Majority” when he says, “love is a battle, love is war, love is growing up.”
Love is macro. It is projected loudly through humanity by art, music, dance and, most of all, each other. Love is always defined on a grandiose scale. Definitions strain love into a basic form of all flavor, no substance that can be processed and mass produced for all. Love is tropified by the internet and seen missing via tweets, DMs, text messages, memes and casual conversation. Love is an experience to say the least.
Love is micro. For each person, it brings an experience that is exclusive to the one who feels such feels. Humanity has long had its grasp on love, but has never been able to give a solid dictation on what love is. I sought to find these exclusive experiences to see love at its lucid form. I sought to find the love that College of Charleston students experienced.
I collected ten interviews for what I like to call The Love Interviews. Undergraduate students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, gave me a chance to see what love truly is and to share with the rest of the campus. Three core questions were created to give a simple, but whole, look at each interviewee’s definition of and experience with love. Interviewees differed in their levels of sharing, but all revealed some position on love.
Three interviewees, Blevins, Riley, and Jayson, stood out to me because one developed love as an essence of everything, one gives a nod to silence as love, and one pushes love at a distance.
Blevins, a sophomore, said “I have a definition, but it's hard to explain it. And it’s just sorta, ya know, kinda why people live... It’s everywhere. It’s everything… It’s sorta an infinite resource we all have and can give freely as we see.” Afterward, he apologized for his answer being dumb, but I assured him it was not.
Riley Leavitt, a sophomore, also gave a curt answer, spinning my question to include everyone. She said, “Love is something that everyone wants to achieve at some point in their life.” She later said “as humans, we are programmed to want it.”
Jayson Gulich, a freshman, said that love is “when you can be in a comfortable silence and know what that other person needs.”
Each answer intrigued me as love was, to Sebastian, everything and everywhere at his glance. Seen as a resource, a positive light that can be given away. Love is a lifeblood and the reason to why we live and breathe. Love to Riley, was a biological tick, a program in our brains that we all strive to complete. Furthermore, an admittance to Riley herself is that she also strives for love as she included “all humans” in her answer. Love to Jason is an action in inaction: a sense of comfort between another in silence and knowing exactly what to do or say next.
I didn't forget my fourth interviewee as she was myself. I felt I should have no right to ask these questions if I didn’t ask myself as well. Love, to me, is something more than a feeling - something I strive to have and feel great when I’m in - but I believe love is truly undefinable for the masses.
Love is… an incomplete sentence that can only be supplied by your own thoughts, feelings and experiences. I’m glad and thankful to the nine interviewees who shared with me a completed sentence, who let me see that there is love at C of C.
Article by Staff Writer Indigo Walker, @indigotheplant