Since my daughter left for college, my life is more locker-room and less romantic comedy. My husband and 3 active teenage sons make every day action-packed. While I love their banter and musky aroma, the “movie night” selection at our house is predictable. Since I am always out-voted, all movie options must include crashes, explosions and not too many icky kissing scenes. Since I do like a little romance now and then I have taken to going out for chick flick nights with my friends or watching movies solo on my computer. This arrangement allows me to enjoy myself while deftly avoiding critiques of my entertainment choices.
One of my all-time favorite movies is The Notebook, based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks. Without giving too much away, the story includes love, loyalty and heartbreak without being trite. Suffice to say that The Notebook spans generations and gender and in a rare feat of movie making, both my husband and I enjoyed it equally.
Last week, Mr. Sparks was interviewed on NPR and I was intrigued. He was on air to promote his latest book-to-movie entry, Safe Haven, which I will undoubtedly see without my at-home family. Many of the questions he fielded were standard for a successful author who has sold millions of books, including blockbusters Message in a Bottle and The Last Song. However, I paused when Mr. Sparks responded to a query about love. He said,
“I suppose it’s just deeply rooted in humanity itself; the desire to care for others and to be cared for. I think it [has] probably led to the development of civilization itself in no small way. He further stated,” … To me, without love of something I don’t know if you [can] have a meaningful life at all. I’m not saying it has to be romantic love, but you’ve got to love something: your family, your kids, your friends, your job, and your pets— but if you love nothing, to me, that would be an empty life.”
I found his reply to be thoughtful and meaningful. I appreciated that this accomplished romantic story writer pointed out the myriad of ways we can love in our life. It is a very real human need to care about something or someone and know that our care is acknowledged and returned in kind.
Great philosophers and authors from Aristotle to Shakespeare have written about love but it is Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Where there is love there is life.” In addition to the standard hearts and chocolates this Valentine’s Day, I will pause to appreciate how full life can be and the limitless ways we can express love.
Carol Lewis Gullstad February 11, 2013
- Safe Haven Interview and Review – Opens February 14th @ Theaters Near You (centralmnmom.blogspot.com)