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Is love energy, or is it matter? Is love a right, or a privilege? Is love a connection between souls, or is it just a cocktail of hormones? Will I cease to love when my dopamine, oxitocine, serotonine and adrenaline levels are down?

Is my love for my best friend hormonal?

Are hormones caused by love, or is love caused by hormones? Do we influence our hormones? Do we influence love? Can we fall in love on purpose? Can we fall out of love on purpose?

Does erasing somebody’s spots in Photoshop help you to stop loving them? What if they don’t have spots? Will pores do? Do we love a person with pores and spots, or do we love Plato’s idea of ideal love? Did Plato love anybody? Platonically or the good old way? Did somebody love Plato?

Why does love for one nation turn into hatred of others? Is it love then, or hypercompensated inferiority complex?

If daddy loved Stalin, would Gulag have happened?

Is dying for the Motherland a manifestation of love? Is living in the Motherland a manifestation of love? Is it better to live in Motherland full of hatred or away from it full of love? Is love of the Motherland caused by desire to preserve and pass on one’s genetic material? Is all love caused by that?

Why is love for borsch located in my brain next to love for my hometown of Poltava? Does borsch affect genetic material? Does man-made famine affect genetic material?

How much do you need to love borsch to neutralise the effects of famine?

How do you love your neighbour like yourself? How neighbourly does he have to be? Does one have to love the neighbour one hasn’t met? Does one have to love the neighbour one has met? Would his wife agree to that? Does one have to love the wife too? Wasn’t that what doomed Sodom and Gomorrah? Is there a difference between love for the opposite sex and your own? Why are people bothered about nature of other people’s love? All-comsuming envy?

Why is the prodigal son loved more? Why be the trustworthy son if the prodigal one gets more love anyway? Why is a handsome scoundrel more loved than an ugly hero? Is it bad to love for money? Is it better to love for beauty? Is it not just as big a sell-out? Does love have to be a reward? Who gets to decide?

Is it love to desire total control over the loved one? Is it love – to want to make your loved one a part of yourself? Does love slip away, like quicksilver, if you tighten your grip? Can you hit the ones you love? If you love them, why hit?

Did the poet of masochism Sacher-Masoch love Ukraine?

Do I love myself more than anybody? Can you love another without loving yourself? Do I love myself in others? Do I know enough about others to love themselves in them? Do I know anything at all?

Why do you call out for God when you come?

Did God love me when he created me? Did he love himself? Did he love anything?

IsthereGod? Not there? Can I speak to his supervisor?

Do we love for fear of God? Would it not be more honest to love people without believing in God? Is it possible? Why does religion spread among masses like a fire, but humanists appear one by one?

Is there any sense in loving humanity? Isn’t it selfish to love humanity while belonging to it? Isn’t it selfish not to love it? Can you love humanity without having any real alternative? Would humanity love me if it knew about me? Do those who do know me love me? Does anybody?

Whom did Ruslan from the kindergarten marry?

Does borsch love me, as I love it? Was borsch born of the love of beetroot and cabbage? What if the beetroot and the cabbage hadn’t met that day? Would they have met later? Would borsch have been born different?

Why is it so hard when I’m loved less? Is it not more noble to give than receive? Does nobility have any place in love?

Did Britney Spears love Justin Timberlake? Why do I know these names?

Am I loved for who I am, or would I be loved anyway? If I’d be loved anyway, what was the point in becoming who I am? If I were prettier and taller, would they love me more? If I were kinder and nicer, would they love me more? If I became a singer, would they love me more? If I went into politics, would they love me more? Is love the ultimate success? Is success just a bid for love?

What does my beloved see when he looks at me?

Did my mum love me more when I learned to walk? Could I be happy without her love? Can people whose mum doesn’t love them be happy?

Is love stronger then death? Can you take love to your grave? If not, what is the point of self-sacrifice? Is love stronger than life the only real kind?

Does beauty exist objectively? Why is a tiger beautiful? Why is a jackal not? Is a jackal beautiful to his wife? Why is she so unlucky? How do we explain the love of flowers? Isn’t it perverted to love the reproductive organs of another biological species?

Does the stamen love the ovary?

Do we fall in love for reproduction only? If so, why do we write love poems? Why is the starlit sky compatible with love, and why isn’t the outhouse? Didn’t Lady Chatterley’s lover answer that already?

Is love just a mist in front of our eyes, self-deception and the strongest human drug? Is love just novocaine for the people? Could we survive the tragedy and ugliness of this world without love?

Would we notice the beauty and grandeur of this world without love?

This text was part of a book “25 Essays on Love” by 25 Ukrainian authors, published by Folio publishers.


4 Responses to “Love?”

  1. Sergiy Yakovenko on May 31st, 2008 6:48 am

    What does my beloved see when he looks at me? Well, I’ve got an answer to that one: whatever he sees, it depends on him, not you. But I consider that a rather personal question. Svitlana, could you please give me your e-mail address? You know me anyway. Do I know anything at all?:))

  2. Olena Zelena on November 3rd, 2008 12:54 pm

    Svitlano, You are Great! How, oh please, explain me – HOW do you do it?!:)

  3. Kate Spaid on August 8th, 2009 9:43 am

    Zi vsieji zbirky – Vashe ese vydalos najkrashchym)

  4. amisra10 on October 21st, 2011 12:05 am

    In the best traditions of Jewish congresses, could your premise possibly be mistaken? Is it possible that this thing called love defies pat and simplistic categorisation? And how about contemplating the question: if I were taller/nicer/more tuneful … would I be loved less? Could it be that the reference to borsch, tigers, jackals, stamens, ovaries and motherlands be, at best, conflating the issue and, at worst, just a teeny bit pretentious? Could love be beyond notions of bodily secretions, life, death, geographic proximity, genus, sacrifice, parenthood, celebrityhood, nonentity-hood, literature, tragedy, comedy, politics, intellectual show-boating or faux naïveté? And is the answer as unfathomable as the conjugal destiny of Ruslan? Or, conversely, could love simply be about erasure of the ego? About abject, unconditional surrender?

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