There’s always a need to rationalize it, this ridiculous little emotion that defies explanation. We often advise people to be careful with love, like it’s some kind of volatile substance that could destroy the human race. The common wisdom is that love is not the safer thing; that in some ways, in some situations, we are better off not being in love, not being invested in another person, other persons. And there are millions of reasons, hanging on various concepts such as the volatility of the human person and the inevitability of time.
And they are right, of course.
Love is a dangerous concoction. In truth, it is better left to the fictional characters in the great stories of mankind. When one really thinks about it, the human constitution hardly seems capable of taking the pain of a love lost. Humans haven’t really become enlightened enough to not kill themselves over a breakup. Or even enlightened enough to live up to love’s lofty ideals. (At least, there hasn’t been much evidence to the contrary.)
We’ve been dealing with it for so long, and despite the millions and thousands of stories written, sung and filmed about it, we still don’t have a clear formula for making it work, for making sure that we don’t get hurt. Despite being the thing that it’s clearly all about, we just don’t get it. And we probably never will.
Love, obviously, is something above human. Something greater than the weaknesses of these brittle bones and this fragile heart.
Of course, that’s exactly why we need to keep loving.
People don’t realize it, but when they utter those three strange little words and truly mean it, in that one moment, they have become something far greater. They’ve stepped outside themselves, touching something beyond human experience that all of our knowledge combined and all our words cannot even hope to truly describe it. For that moment, we are no longer our weaknesses, our fragilities. We are infinite.
Safety is overrated anyway. We’d all rather be falling.
And yet when I look back at how I loved then, or how I love now, for that matter, I cannot claim it to be anything else.
At one point or another, I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life just trying to make the world a better place for these persons I love.
If repetition makes that cheaper, well then so be it: I know that I loved each of them deeply and profoundly, in grand poetic ways, no matter how painful or awkward.
I know this because I love them, still.
Most people forget that love is not about relationships. It’s not about ending up together and getting married and having children. It’s not about kissing, or sex, or whatever the fuck else.
At the end of the day, love is simply realizing that the world is a better place with that person in it, regardless of your position, of where you stand.
I could never understand people who claimed to love their exes once, and hate them now. See, this is what makes love nothing more than a tired, shallow cliche. There’s just no hating the persons you love. They may have hurt you, but all the pain in the world cannot replace a single moment of true love.
And in writing this, I finally let go of this line from the film, 2046:
“Love is a matter of timing. It’s no good meeting the right person
too soon or too late.”
— because I know now that director Wong Kar-Wai is wrong.
Relationships are a matter of timing. But not love, no, never love.
Love, love is every day.
Love doesn’t care about timing.
It waits. It grows. It remains, like the sweet smell of rain after a summer shower.
And it doesn’t care what it ends up being, it only matters that it is.
And perhaps I’ll be waiting forever, loving profoundly and never really ending up with anyone,
but that seems to matter little now. The world becomes a better place when we love.