Love in the time of Casseroles

Love in my life is not chocolate flavored and it doesn’t smell like roses. More often, it tastes like coffee I didn’t have to brew. It looks like laundry I didn’t have to fold. It feels like a thrift store sweater I had to re-sew the buttons on to. It’s a heart shaped casserole dish covered in cheez-whiz, waiting for me when I get home from yoga. 
  
The love of my life is a potluck of leftovers. 

What love ought to taste and feel like is a complicated thing. We are fed stories about love as we grow. Who to love. How to love. Whether we are deserving of loves nourishment or left to scrounge for its scraps. Too often those stories we read and watch over and over rarely last beyond the sugar high. They do not keep us warm when the windchill kicks up. 

My deepest loves are cobbled together from scraps and thrift store finds. They do not go together in the traditional sense. But they are all rooted in the environments I have occupied: familial, religious, academic, regional, and professional. All of these spaces have shaped both my definition and capacity for love. My love is a bouquet of the herbaceous elements found there. 

Found art. Found love. 

Love in all flavors and fibers. Ginger and mustard. Silk and denim. Quirky pairings that wouldn’t seem complimentary create a bricolage of patchwork love. 

  
Ivy asked me (again) this morning why she was going to church with daddy and grandma while I went to yoga with myself. I said:

“People go to church to be closer to God and think about how they can be better to the people around them. Thats what yoga does for me.”

As I moved my way through the Asanas, love lines I grew up reading emerged in my mind:

(Warrior pose). 

The greatest of these is love.

(Cactus arms)

Perfect love casts out fear. 

(Cosmic Dancer)

Love your enemy. 

(Goddess pose)

God is love.

These tenants and asanas complicate life and love. Make it harder to digest if we’re used to love that melts in our mouth. This is high fiber love. It doesn’t always taste good, but it’s great for our colon. 

Love is always on hand. We may need to pair it with a can of kidney beans or patch it with fabric scraps, but if we let ourselves recognize love in all flavors and fibers, we’ll find it in every cupboard and closet.  

Soft and worn in, I choose consignment love. 

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