Having made a few loops around the sun, I’m more convinced than ever that most of this world’s malignancy has its roots in our longing for love, finding none and filling that hole with slag. Such sad fates are chosen when we’re starving for affection.
But I don’t suppose this is news. Knowing isn’t our problem. Strength is. Strength to admit our private need—and so, just maybe, to help pierce a universal paralysis.
No lesser light than Mother Theresa put it out there:
The most terrible poverty is loneliness.
And what is loneliness but the state of not having someone out there who cares.
Now, at the risk of going from the divine to the facetious, I want to point out that frogs know this. They’ve been pining away long before we stepped onto this boat. Croaking their crazy lyrics of acknowledged need into the evening mist. And, if you believe the myths, they do seem to find love.
Well, since we’ve walked smack into winter, perhaps today is a good day to reminisce about spring and frog things. You see we have a pond across the road from our patch of bush and every spring we hear the frogs go wild. (Just last year, we thought a massive flock of mallards had arrived at the pond—so loud was their chorus.) And every spring we’re drawn down to the pond. We walk, careful to avoid stepping on dry branches, moving slowly and quietly as possible, slipping through tall slough grass. But always, they hear us and stop singing. So we wait. Stand silent. And after five minutes they begin. First one, then another…slowly…then the entire colony.
Sometimes it only takes one, then two, then three to say it. To bear it. To admit it. To lie down and roll around in it. To relish in our common cosmic need. This need we have: love me…love me, love me.
One night, late last spring, lying in the cabin, listening to The Road Home on CKUA (and by the way if you haven’t dialed into this little gem, you must), I heard Bob Chelmich read (Edmonton’s own) Kerry Mulholland’s poem, Love Poem in the Key of Frog.
And now there’s nothing left to say except to encourage you to click this line and spend a few minutes listening to Bob C., sublimely set the stage, then read Kerry’s poem. Consider it strength for the road.