To live is to love; to love is to live. To live life without love is no way to live at all. With all its ups and downs, it is love that gives life its texture. It may seem not much at first, but when examined in the long run, the love one has experienced will shape the trajectory of one’s life. Such poetic imagery can be found in the landscape of life by quattlebaum from his book “The Color of Love”.
In his book, the African American author does not solely focus on love of the romantic kind. Instead, he widens his palette and points his brush to other kinds of love: Philia, eros, storge, philautia, and agape. He takes from each and every one of these kinds of love and uses them to color and paint the so-called landscape of life.
Among the types of love, eros is usually the definition that is often referred to when talking about love. This is the erotic and passionate kind of love. This is the love one has for a significant other. It is the type that makes one feel butterflies in the stomach when talking about someone. As such, this is the kind of love that, depending on the situation, is usually the source of all happiness, or the cause of the most significant pain.
Philia is defined as the love one has for his friends and equals. This is the kind of love that eros becomes after it simmers down to when the intensity has finally settled or died down. This is the kind of love that accepts and respects. This is your mature love. This is your bromance and sisterhoods. This is your love that has been tried and tested for years and years. From Greek, Philia, is often translated as the highest form of love.
Of all the types of love, Storge is probably the most natural. It is usually defined as the love of parents for children, but it also can mean the other way around. Although this type of love somehow has a genetic nature, it is not limited to just that. Storge might integrate to other kinds of love such as that of eros and philia to become a kind of love that seeks to care unconditionally. Other examples of storgic loves include the love between family members, close friends, companions, and colleagues and the love between owners and their pets.
At first glance, philautia or self-love can be considered a character flaw. Vanity, after all, could be considered as a branch of pride, one of the Seven Deadly Sins and who could ever forget the story of Narcissus, an individual so smitten by his own appearance that he rejected the love of others. With that said, one must not forget to love one’s self; otherwise the individual might stop caring for themselves and in doing so, might prevent him from even being able to show love towards others. As such, one must learn to love one’s self as to never loos their reason for existence and the appreciation of all life.
Among the types of love, agape is often considered to be the greatest love of all. It is the love derived from God’s love towards his people and the people’s devotion towards Him. Translated from Greek, it is the unconditional love. As such, it can also be considered as the love towards the whole of humankind. It is the kind of love that goes above and beyond and transcends boundaries.
In “The Color of Love,” Agape is probably the most emphasized one, but there are also poems that show the other types of love. These poems make it so that the book is not just one note. It is what makes the work so aptly titled.
Get The Color of Love by Raymond Quattlebaum at Amazon or the author’s website.