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My translation

(2008-03-11 20:02:50)



Pondering "Love"

Camille DeAngelis


"Love" is the most overused word in the English language. I say I love Chunky Monkey ice cream. I love the Muppets and poetry and any song U2 has ever written. I love New York. But rarely do I consider the meaning of the word I use so liberally.

在英语中,“爱”是被滥用得最严重的。我说我爱Chunky Monkey冰淇淋。我爱Muppets和诗歌,还有U2写的每一首歌。我爱纽约。虽然我经常使用这个词,我却很少思考它的含义。"Love" is a word whose power has been diluted by eons of misuse. I'm not sure I'm ready to see my own reflection in the things and people I profess to love, because I'm not at all confident I really do love them. It's a dirty or worthless word for some. Others hold it as completely sacred and pure and refuse to waste it on musical artists or Ben & Jerry or even on people they merely like.

由于长久以来的误用,“爱”这个词的力量已经被削弱了。我不确定我是否准备好了去看我对那些人或事的反映,那些我对外宣称是我所爱的人与事。因为我不确定我是否真的爱他们。对某些人来说,“爱”是一个肮脏或无价值的字。另一些人把它当作神圣的、纯洁的,他们拒绝将它用在音乐艺术家,Ben & Jerry和他们只是喜欢着的人身上。

But most of us really are confused about the true meaning of the word, whether or not we realize it. It doesn't help that you run into it wherever you go:" love" in pop songs on the radio," love" in movies, and "love" on television. Love poetry ranges from the romantic (like Byron: "She walks in beauty, like the night/Of cloudless climes and starry skies...A heart whose love is innocent!" ) to the angst-ridden ( like Plath:" I should have loved a thunderbird instead;/At least when spring comes they roar back again" ).


So, what is love? The most fascinating, and frustrating, aspect of that question is that there is no simple answer. Any dictionary definition is horribly unsatisfactory. Love is much more than" warm attachment" or "strong affection". True love, I think, ought to last. But can the love of which those poets write be the one that so often does not last? Is love unconditional?


I can say for sure, however, that love is not logical. The goal in the pursuit of logic is absolute truth and even perfection, neither of which is compatible with love. Should rational thought win out over romance, any relationship in question would surely fade as quickly as it had begun.


The actress Katherine Hepburn's thoughts on the matter are certainly thought-provoking." Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get--only with what you are expecting to give--which is everything." But what if I give everything and receive nothing in return? Can that possibly be love, however "unrequited"? When Sheryl Crow sings that "need is love, and love is need," is she singing about dependency, or is love really based on necessity? One definition states that if you truly love someone, you find you simply cannot live without them. But I consider myself an independent being. I don't need anyone in order to function. Does that make me incapable of love? Perhaps a more refined definition would be that" love" is wanting (but not needing)the other person in your life for always, because ideally I want to be a much better person for having known him.

毫无疑问,女演员凯瑟琳·赫本在这个问题上的想法是发人深省的。“爱与你期望得到什么无关--仅与你想要付出什么有关--这就是一切。”但如果我付出了一切却什么都没得到怎么办呢?那是爱吗,是没有报答的?当Sheryl Crow唱到:"需要的是爱,爱是需要,",她是在歌唱依赖,还是爱情真的建立在需要的基础上?有一个定义阐明,如果你真的爱一个人,你不能够没有他们而活着。但是我认为我是一个独立的人,我不需要任何人来使自己正常生活。那是否使我不能爱呢?也许"爱"的一个更精确的定义是要(而不是需要)一个经常在你生活中的人,因为我理想地希望自己因为认识他而变得更美好。

So what if it doesn't work out? You pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and think about anything but romance until someone else comes along who inspires you to try again. Most people believe that even if a relationship doesn't last, it still could have been love. I'm not so sure. A Chinese proverb states that if you love someone, let them go. If they return to you, it was meant to be. If they don't, their love was never yours to begin with. This, too, is trite, but its inherent truth is undeniable.


Perhaps to use the word love in terms of any college relationship is absurd. There can be no promises and no plans, because so often plans and promises go unfulfilled. We hang on when we ought to let go. In the end only one thing can be certain: we enter into relationships and risk loving someone because all of the joy and the agony leads us to a greater sense of self. "Love" can never be completely defined; ultimately the only definition that matters is your own. I'd like to suggest, however, that the next time you choose to use the word, you contemplate first all the profoundly marvelous possibilities that it contains.




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