Look Of Love

It's torn and discolored.  The cover is scuffed and ragged.  In a human face these are signs of a life well-spent.  Or of a long night out spent with some bad liquor.  

But in a blanket, or a stuffed animal, or a book – anything that gives comfort, it seems – these are signs of love, of constant use.  A look which – if these comfortable items could talk – above all things they want to have.  A blanket was meant to be wrapped around its owner until the threads grew thin.  A stuffed animal was meant to be cuddled until the fur began to fall off.  A book was meant to be read until the pages were bent and weary, and the edges were oily from the reader's fingertips.

I bought this book a long time ago.  It's a good one.  The facts of Elizabeth's life are firmly entrenched in a fluid, easy narrative.  I honestly can't say how many times I've read it, but I clearly had been alternately overeager and brutal in taking it out of the bookcase and putting it back.  Its marks are not signs of abuse, but merely of use.  And a book that has been used has been enjoyed; it has been read: which is all it wanted.  A book doesn't want to be rebound in gold and morocco and kept in a display case.

'Lovelorn' is bad.  'Lovetorn' is good.

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8 responses to “Look Of Love

  1. I love the way you write! :~D

  2. Lovetorn is good indeed. 🙂

  3. So true. It's easy to pick out the things that have been loved among those that were bought, shelved, and forgotten. "Lovetorn" is a perfect expression.

  4. How paradoxical. A bibliophile, a person who loves books as you and I do, A., expects well-loved books to be dog-eared, relaxed, and maybe even marked up [frown]. A bibliophile who collects books, wants them in "near fine" or "unread" condition, and if you can prove the cover, with jacket, has never been cracked open—well, you've got a gold mine. Complete opposites…

  5. I love the books in my apartment; I love to look at them around me, read them, or take them down to revisit a favorite passage or illustration…I believe that you do, too. We collect books, sure, we accumulate them. But we also use them: when I see a title that interests me, I'll note the condition…then proceed to forget about it.
    'Unread' condition? The shame!

  6. I must be loved Aubrey because I am tattered, floppy, tarnished,lol. I guess I am just old. But loved also. I have all previously owned things throughout my house because I can feel the presence of the previous owners. There is nothing like an old book. I have many times found old letters, bookmarks, even a handkerchief in one. I am loveworn. my dog has a stuffed animal that she has had for 13 years and he is still her favorite.

  7. Loved, and 'well-read' – congratulations, DB!
    My lovely apartment is full of used and old things – dance cards, postcards, photographs, yearbooks, autograph books, magazines, advertisements, prints, and booksbooksbooks. I believe that any animal that steals into my apmt. (no pets clause where I live) will be RIVETED by all the aged scents from previous decades circulating about!

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