A Word On Love
Oh my. It really can’t be contained in a simple phrase.
Let’s get this straight though: I’m not talking about the love you feel for your friends, or your family. I’m talking about the love you feel for someone you’re dating, or engaged to. (But not that married kind of love. That’s a horse of a different color.)
First of all, most of all, love is one force felt differently depending on who it’s directed at. Like that line from that song goes, you never stop loving somebody, you just start loving somebody new. My love is, was, and always has been my love. A unique brand, you could say.
Love is also chaos. That’s probably love’s most important characteristic. Love is a thing so unpredictable that it appears random because of its great sensitivity to small changes in conditions. To think that love is something that can be understood is utter bullshit.
Love is seeing an imperfect person perfectly. In that way, it’s also a paradox. It tells us that the person we love is, in their own way, perfect. But people are, in no way, perfect. Love is knowing this and not caring.
Love is irrational. It doesn’t care about what people think is a reasonable amount of time to cultivate the feeling. It springs up at you at the strangest times, under the craziest circumstances.
Love doesn’t care how old you are. I was in love when I was in third grade. His name was Mike, and I was pretty sure he was the greatest thing since chocolate milk at lunch time. And my grandparents, I’m pretty sure, will still be stupidly, adorably, hopelessly in love if they live to be a hundred.
Love is longsuffering. It can take a lot of grief for the sake of the greater cause. It’s the heart that gives out.
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
-Lois de Bernieres
Love simply is.