what do you mean when you say "i love you"?
my rather long answer later
to my parents: you made me. not just physically, you are responsible more than anyone else for who i am. and i like who i am. you have cleaned up my messes from diapers to debts. you gave me my conscience, my compassion, and my integrity. you provided me with experiences and opportunities beyond your means. you have supported my decisions in life, even when they didn't fit your vision of my future. i don't say it enough, but i love you.
to my sister: you are the only person outside of our parents who has shared my whole life. we share four decades of memories, good and bad, and whichever type it is, you can always make me laugh about it. you are smart, beautiful, and deserve a lot more out of life than it has given you. i will always be there for you, and i know that is reciprocal. i almost never say it, but i love you.
to my long time friends: you know more intimate details about me than even my family. there are a few of you who know things about me that i have never even told a lover. i trust you completely, even if we only talk occasionally, and even if we have all changed. these bonds will never weaken. i love you.
to my former lovers: each of you has owned my soul. each of you still has a piece of it. but my soul is fuller for having been shared with you. all but one of you is still a friend, some are close. i loved each of you differently, but completely and still, i love you.
to you, my livejournal friends: there is so much we don't know about each other, and yet we choose to share some of our most intimate dreams, fears, pain , and joy. little nuggets of trust and love that have broadened my horizon, taught me about myself, and enriched my life beyond measure over the past two years. i love you all.
to the person i most recently spoke these words to: you are a perfect sunrise. your passion and dedication, your unflinching dedication to your conscience. your perseverence in the face of obstacles that would crumple the resolve of most people. your brilliant mind, and the melodious and bravely honest expression of yourself that first drew me to you and now spellbinds me. your voice, your smile, your playful nature. i have no idea what direction the future will take our blossoming friendship, but it is a blessing, and i will be happy whichever road we take. i love you.
"once, a man, like the sea i raged
once, a woman, like the earth i gave
and there is in fact more earth than sea"
-peter gabriel writing for genesis