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Abstract Structure

Updated: Feb 19, 2022

Recently, I was prompted to look up the ancient Greco-Roman terms for love. It occurred to me that L-O-V-E continues to be one of the biggest things that hangs in the balance for our human experience. The Greeks defined versions of love: agape, philia, storge, and eros.

Agape - The type of love that causes you to lay down your life for your country Philia - The type of love that makes you stand up for your sister or brother united in any fight or struggle. Storge - The type of love that allows you to care for your child or those who you take care of. Eros - The type of love you have for your partner, enduring in all of its complexity.

In English, we condensed all 4 “love” words into one. We have made a complete muddle of it .Not to mention, the mess often purposely created by those trying to get you to believe your agape or eros is under their control.

A favorite passage One favorite of mine is the passage that usually follows any homily on the four types of love. Agape (loyalty) is the one written about in this religious text. Eros (romantic) is the one we use the passage for. It was one of the readings at our wedding. But, I believe it can be applied to to Philia (brotherly) and Storge (caregivng) too. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.An ask of each of you There are 15 asks/declarations/requests/expectations in that short passage about love. Each is huge and can be an exploration in itself. None, I suspect happen without concerted effort. Yet, if this decade is about each of us owning our definition of love, then taking some time to look at those 15 asks in our own lives seems worth aspiring to.

I walk into the new year with these words in mind: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy..." and looking, examining. exploring who, what, when, and how these words are exemplified; or, when I and others fail them. These words are a great measuring stick for what we are striving for.

Reference on Agape.Philia.Eros.Storge.

Reference Corinthians 13:4-8


This week I started thinking about how much times have changed since I was kid. During the holidays, it wasn’t unusual to find 3 coconuts, husks on, in the grocery bags. We all knew that meant. At some point, could be as immediately as while unpacking the groceries, we were going to get my dad’s industrial-weighted heavy-duty wire-locking pliers out. Then, one of the adults (until we could eventually do it) would hold each coconut in the palm of their hand, and with a solid “whap!” crack each open. Sometimes, you would hear, a kiss teeth and “How old is this coconut anyways?’’ Since it seemed incredulous that three coconuts couldn’t really make just one less-than-half-glass of coconut water. Preparing coconut, in the dead of winter, with the view of snow falling from every window, had its own irony. But, our house was like that. Music playing, soca, oldies, disco, classic country like Patsy Cline, or some gospel soul like Mahalia and Aretha. At some point, we switched to frozen coconut cream. And if my mother forgot to thaw it in time, she would let it partially unthaw under warm water and slice off a section.

I miss the time we used to have built into living. Time we used to make our food from fresh and to make it layered with flavor. Time we used to spend together.


Last night, at almost 11, I was ready to tell our son he was busted for: after bedtime TV watching. His door was shut. The lights were still on and yes, he was so busted! I opened the door expecting to startle him but he was so into that little device screen. He didn't even turn around or budge. It doesn't take long to get to fuming. The room is a mess. I'm on a diet. And, by three steps closer to him, I thought the nerve of this guy. "I can't believe you are still up. It's time to go to bed. I know it's Friday night but you have big day tomorrow..." Only at the moment that I get to his bed that I realize, his eyes aren't even open. He's sound asleep. So, I removed the screen but the ergonomics of the hand had to be fixed. Imagine being stuck in screen-in-hand posture like that all night. So, I took his hand and shook out his fingers and tried to get the hand to relax. He stirred enough to move around and finally tuck his hand under his head.

I turned off the lights, turned on the ceiling fan, and took the phone with me.

On a more serious note, many of us are falling to sleep with and even on top of our screen technology. In extreme position for our bodies, as we position them awkwardly (position itself, length of time frozen in the position). It's sleep disrupting in ways we don't even know yet. So much for falling to sleep on the couch with the TV on. The TV isn't in your hand or underneath you.

We aren't the only family in this dilemma. But, from what I can tell, even though, we are aware that checking our device last at night is not recommended.

No one is is talking about being frozen in those awkward screen-in-hand positions all night. I mean, our son's hand didn't even really relax when the phone was removed. I think it's just light enough that the body wasn't impacted by the loss of weight when I removed it. All the muscle force stayed in the hands posture.

That's something to think about.

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