Eros. Agape. Philia. Storge.

Written By: Charles - Mar• 26•23

Spring and the Painted Moon

Sunday gratefuls: Mike and Kate. Campfire Grill. Ruby on the Mountain roads. Pastrami. Truffled Mac and Cheese. Luke coming up today. My son and his wife. BJ and Schecky. Gettin’ hitched. Kep the early riser. Sleeping in after that. Myth. Ovid. Artemis. Lycaon. Philemon and Baucus. Lucretius. The Nature of Things. Metamorphosis. The Arabian Nights. CJ Box. Richard Powers.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Ancient Brothers


On the nature of love. Eros. Of course. I remember. Though prostate cancer long ago canceled out experience. Agape. Reserved for a person better than me most of the time, but still a destination, part of the long journey.

Philia though, affection among friends, friendship. Sustains me now. Whether it be the Ancient Brothers with our decades of memories or members of CBE or Kat, the Aspen Perk’s waitress. Mike and Kate. Luke. High school and college classmates. Even Kristie, my oncology PA, and Dr. Gonzalez, my PCP. Affection rules these relationships.

Here I would also add my wild neighbors, the Lodgepoles and Aspens, Shadow Mountain, Black Mountain, Maxwell and Bear Creeks. All that is around me in its wildness.

Love is a many layered reality. I discovered just today that there is yet another Greek word for love, storge, which means love and affection especially of parents and children. I’ll put that into this post, too. Not only for my son and his wife, Jon, Ruth, and Gabe, but for cousins like Diane whom I’ve known almost my whole life, Mary and Mark, each dog I’ve had the privilege to share my life with, and each person who might experience me as a mentor.

Storge also sustains me and helps me see my role as a sustainer of others. Realizing our importance to others is sometimes difficult as self-abnegation is often taught to us as a substitute for true humility. I’ve struggled with this over the years as you might have, too. But of late I’ve come to see that I add something valuable to the relationships I’m in and if that’s the case it probably means I am someone valuable. In my own unique way. As you are yourself, unknown reader.

How important it is to reach out and keep these relationships alive and vital. I find myself saying now to various folks, as I did to Mike and Kate yesterday, it’s your turn to send up a smoke signal. Don’t know how that entered my mind, but I’ve liked it because it points to the mutuality of relationships. After meeting with others after they’ve given me the honor of an invitation, I say, I’ll send up the next smoke signal.

I’ve had trouble realizing that mutuality requires me as well as the other. I’ve often thought of myself as interchangeable with others and if I don’t nurture a relationship that the person will get what they need elsewhere. Which is, of course, partly true and necessary to know. Yet. I also have to recognize myself as one of a kind, a person who brings to a relationship what only I can bring. In other words I have to see my own part in a relationship as important, as important as what the other/others bring.

Better learned late than never.

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