One of my favorite movies is called Harold and Maude. A classic made in 1971, it features a quirky relationship between a young man named Harold played by Bud Cort who is obsessed with suicide and 79 year old Maude played by Ruth Gordon who loves life. They meet at a funeral of someone that neither of them know, since it is a hobby they both have. They become friends and more. Together they have outrageously fun and deeply exploratory adventures that have him question the meaning of life and love. The film is filled to the brim with memorable quotes. One leaps out during the scene in which Maude is playing pinball surrounded by young people who are laughing and smiling at her antics. As he comments to Maude, “You’re so good with people.”, her delighted response is “They’re my species.” As the story winds down, and Maude is facing the end of her life and being ferried away by ambulance, he calls out “Don’t leave me Maude, I love you.” and her poignant and powerful answer is “Oh Harold, that’s wonderful. Go and love some more. “ Go and love some more. What would it be like if, despite pain and disenchantment, we could keep our hearts open to let love flow? I visualize the cardiac muscle that keeps our bodies alive. If there is a blockage in any part of it…intake or outflow, life can’t be sustained. In that same way, if our emotions are blocked, we die a bit as well.
I was speaking with someone recently who expressed feeling deep depression; indicating that everyone he loved was dead. I acknowledged his losses and then asked him if he believed that these were the only people he would ever love. He looked at me as if I was communicating in a completely foreign language. I reminded him that the world was filled to the brim with people to love. All he need do was reach out and let them in. So often, people limit themselves as to who they are willing to love. I remind folks all the time that everyone they now know and love were once strangers. A few years ago, a friend posed the question: “Can you love whoever God sends?” My response was “Of course.” and I endeavor to do just that. I have learned too that love is never wasted, regardless of the form, content or duration of that experience.
In your life, where do you limit love?
What surprises have arisen when you have let love in?
Are you willing to ‘go and love some more.’?
Two of my favorite Cat Stevens songs are highlights of the movie.
http://youtu.be/6ycjX3rLzyE Don’t Be Shy
http://youtu.be/WFSjxkGOFZw If You Want To Sing Out