Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love ...

I’m too old and much, much too cynical to be anyone’s fanboy. I’m a curmudgeon, not a groupie. Especially for a 30-something hip-hop theater artist in New York.

And yet …

And yet everything I see, hear or learn about Lin-Manuel Miranda makes me admire the guy more. For those of you returning from off-planet, Miranda is the author, lyricist, composer and star of the Broadway hit, “Hamilton”, which just won a slew of Tony Awards, including Best Musical. In his first acceptance speech, he had to convey his gratitude toward his wife and son, his fellowship with his company, his appreciation of the whole theater world, and his horror and reaction to the mass shooting that took place hours earlier in Florida.

Of course, anyone in this situation would compose a sonnet, but Miranda’s was so powerful, so moving, that it will leave a lasting mark in acceptance speech history. (I’m not completely sure there is any acceptance speech history, but this could start it.)

In this sonnet, the most memorable line is

And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love …

(More succinctly, and + (love is)*7 + love)

After x years on this planet, I’ve settled on two definitions of love. One is “the state of being part of something larger than yourself.” The other is “the feeling that you’re part of something larger than yourself.” I’m not sure which is correct, but I don’t think it matters.

We all crave that sense of belonging … of being a part of something, instead of just a lonely individual eating Chinese take-out in front of the TV watching re-runs of F*R*I*E*N*D*S and wishing we had some. Romantic love is being part of a relationship of two or more consenting adults. Patriotic love is being part of a nation … a bunch a people who share a common
set of beliefscultureheritagevaluescurrency. Familial love is … well, you get the idea.

The point is, that feeling of belonging … of being part of something bigger, whether it’s family or community or a romantic relationship or whatever … is what makes us what we are. It’s that elusive, fragile, precious bond that elevates us from humans to humanity. To borrow from the 1960’s Beatles’ lyric, all you need is love.

Now back to our regularly scheduled curmudgeon.

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