Where There Is Love There Is Life

 The lights go on and the Tang Theatre is transformed into the house of Count Dracula. There is a bouquet of roses waiting underneath your chair, and you squeeze the armrest of your seat. A story unravels before you, a story that does not take place at Phillips Academy but somewhere else. The clock has been set a hundred years back. The sounds and colors and characters are all crawling to life when a familiar face blooms on stage. All smile stretches across your face and you want to scream her name although you know you cannot. In that moment she is not your friend, but Miss Lucy, the mistress of Count Dracula.  

            When you see her exit from the dressing room, the running, the screaming, the hugging, the laughing—they are all side effects of love. And that day the Tang Theatre was transformed into the house of Count Dracula, there was love everywhere. There was love beaming down from the stage lights; love enveloped in the shared laughter of the audience, love hidden underneath the chair in the form of roses. There is also pride in love, and we were endlessly proud to stand by her and call her our friend.

            On a Friday afternoon in Bulfinch, the sun came out from behind the clouds just in time for our biweekly Niswarth meetings. It was in this meeting that we practiced free writing. We were asked to write about love in several different perspectives. I wrote about how it is love that keeps us living, love that fuels our every move. Love is the light at the end of the tunnel. It is the flame we must not let out. When asked to write in the opposite perspective, my hands wouldn’t let me. It seemed to contradict the way my heart pulsed inside my chest and reverse the pumping of my blood. Instead I explained how this different, negative perspective of our world could not possibly be the way to think. I simply believed too much in the goodness of love—where there is love there is life.

            With love also comes selflessness. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “The good neighbor looks beyond his accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human, and therefore, brothers.” True friendship is the embodiment of this quote. Friendship strips away our labels—whether it is the color of our skin, the amount of money our parents make, the God we choose or choose not to believe in, the gender we are attracted to, or our achievements. When we stand label-less next to each other, we stand stronger, because it is only then that we learn how to love.