Love Is Patient, Love Is Kind, and It Does Not Envy, but Only When Things Are Breezy and Easy
We’ve got true love all wrong. What do you picture when you read “true love”? Hand-holding, bike riding down a street with no cars and no litter, 72 degrees and a refreshing drink within reach, ambient sounds like you only hear in your dreams, kisses softer than that real expensive tissue with the lotion embedded in it? Of course! We all share this vision of love, this close-to-perfect state when one being is in complete alignment with another being and the rest of the world can go hang. None of us are immune from the centuries-old depictions of what love should be. Most of us weren’t even immune to enjoying “Ice Ice Baby” when it came out, so what chance do we have against a much more powerful tradition?
Before you take a guess with where I’m going with this, let me say now that I’m not claiming there’s anything wrong with this understanding of love. When I think of love, this is what I want to envision too. Sure this idea conveniently ignores the realities of the bigger world around it–wars and mortgages, sickness and crime, sadness and loss–but that’s part of the appeal, that this love can for a time remove us from regular life and bring us and another like us to a place both serene and exhilarating and alone. I don’t believe that this concept being false, even if it’s far-fetched. Going to the moon and curing HIV were also far-fetched at a time.
My issue is more with the term “true love.” What I’ve described here is more like easy love. It’s easy to be head over heels when your biggest problem is a butterfly landing on your head after running through a field, probably in slow motion, to embrace your lover, probably wearing loose garments that flow perfectly in the breeze. Every other concept that is linked with truth occurs in a more challenging scenario. The quest for truth is a lifelong quest that few have ever attempted. True justice requires objectivity and bravery without compare. Telling the truth often forces our hand, making us reveal ourselves as flawed, often risking those things we hold dearest. These examples are a far cry from walking arm-in-arm along a beach to the sensual tunes of Seals and Croft.
True love? That’s connecting with someone to her core, to his essence. Take away the nice cars. Take away all of the cars. Remove the relaxing dinners by an open window. Ignore the glass of wine and conversation after work. Disregard all images of going to the movies, of exploring new areas, of building a relationship together. Do not think of first kisses and all the ones that follow. Avoid images of beautiful pecs and beautiful breasts. Do not think of great eyes that reflect the sunlight and all the hopes and dreams of a new couple. Remove the comfortable living quarters. Remove shared jokes. Think not of romantic pasts, joyous presents, and hopeful futures. These are all matters of our hearts and minds. True love is not in the place where we find desires and thoughts.
I don’t mean to suggest that you’re only really in love if you fall for an itinerant with bad finances and worse luck. I do suggest that a true love must not be attached to these matters, for nothing can disrupt a true love. It is the closest thing on this earth to eternal. A love beyond dollars and plans. Even as the embodiment around it is razed, it does not change; with that embodiment, it is raised again.
For some it is the fabric of the universe. For others it is the hand of God. For me, it is the hazardous, challenging road between, an equation of souls and the cosmos where one and one are one. It is less an ideal and more of a different reality. It is not our reason to exist, it is its own existence.
Why does any of this matter at all? For most it doesn’t. For me it doesn’t. At this stage in my life I prefer the concept and goal of easy love to this true love. I’m a big one for perspective, though, at least while I’m writing, or in rare moments where I’m alone with my thoughts. Acknowledging a true love that is beyond friendly smiles and final goodbyes helps me better see where I am in this life. It makes who I am much smaller in the galactic sense while making the life I do live more valuable.
Hey, maybe these are better thoughts for the fall. Here’s to an easy summer. We deserve that much. Peace.