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As many of you know, I love love. I am lucky to be in love and married to a great woman. I think often, though, about the nature of love. What is it? How do we notice it? Does it last forever? etc… In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, and a recent poll I heard on the radio about the “sexiest” songs of all time, I want to talk about love songs. It seems to me that the most popular love songs in music history are about the purest and most ideal pictures of love. I think, though, that the “best” love longs speak to the truth of love, relationships, and humanity.

There is certainly a place for celebrating and proclaiming “I will always love you” and “you are perfect (to me).” However, love songs take a step forward when they can speak to the uncertainty and risk of love, when they recognize and name the occasional irrationality or mystical nature of love, and when they suggest that deep love doesn’t always a great relationship make. At the same time, when a song can honor the truth of love while celebrating it in all of its passion, playfulness and power, then the best love songs rise to the top. Of course, if a song sounds good, it makes it all that much better.

VH1 did a ranking of the “100 Greatest Love Songs” a while back, this is their top 5:

1)Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You”

2) Elvis Presley, “Love Me Tender”

3) Celine Dion, “My Heart Will Go On”

4) Journey, “Open Arms”

5) Paul McCartney & Wings, “Maybe I’m Amazed”

My personal top-5 list is often changing depending on my current taste in music and new songs that are released (as well as how my views on love change, grow and mature). For now, here it is:

1) Wilco, “You and I”

2) Dave Matthews Band, “Steady As We Go”

3) The Pretenders, “I’ll Stand By You”

4) Journey, “Open Arms”

5) Dave Matthews Band, “You and Me”

It is really tough narrow down my list to just five, and the task of “ranking” songs is inherently difficult. Judging art is always such a struggle–albeit a fun, interesting, and often beautiful process.

I wonder, readers (if you didn’t ditch me after these past few weeks of slacking), what do you look for in a love song? And what are your favorite love songs? No need to rank them if you don’t want. Regardless of which love songs you like, I urge you to continue listening to them, whether as a reflection of feelings you have, have lost, or hope to have again.

Peace and love be with you all.

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So I’ve got these thoughts that race through my head. Some of them keep coming back. A lot. One of these is time travel. Take a second. Get all the odd looks and laughs out of your system. Now let’s get down to it: time travel is super interesting. Time travel is richly reflected in a myriad of disciplines–science, philosophy, film, and literature to name a few.

The theory of time travel first caught my attention in the movie Back to the Future (and its sequels). I fell in love with the theory after seeing Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and getting into a bit of philosophy. After years of thinking and dreaming about time travel, I had concluded that time travel was impossible because, if it were to ever exist, people would have traveled back in time and time travel always would have existed. After doing some more reading (as unreliable as Wikipedia sometimes is), I found out that a lot of scientific thought (and a little research) has gone into the area of time travel. In fact, Stephen Hawking has a similar theory regarding time travel as mine…although his is much more complicated, informed, intelligent, and detailed. I learned a little about general relativity in physics classes in high school and college, and remember a bit about time dilation. After reading a few more articles, though (in addition to Wikipedia), I have a renewed hope in time travel. The research seems to indicate that time travel might indeed be possible in the future, and will likely involve wormholes and/or some sort of advanced propulsion system–and it might only be possible to move into the future…which would not be able to be checked. Here’s another, slightly more credible source with some expert interviews.

So…time travel never ceases to supply us with something to ponder, whether from a scientific, philosophical, or artistic sense. What, if any, are your thoughts on time travel? Personally, I don’t think we could change the past because then we would change our present in ways that might prevent us from acting as we did (and then I start to get confused). BUT, if you could go back in time, what would you do? Stop a war? Win a bet? Save a life? For now, time travel is a DeLorean at 88 mph, a phone booth filled with historical figures, and theoretical wormhole usage, but someday it may be realized. ‘Til then, I hope the theory of time travel feeds your heart or your mind for a while. And maybe sparks some good (albeit confusing) conversation.

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