on [love]

I had a conversation with a good friend just over a week ago. I had mentioned that sometimes I wish I had a boyfriend, he asked why, and I said because I feel I’m missing out on certain things. I didn’t mean things like kissing, holding hands, things like that. I feel like I’m missing out on love, on that mysterious love that can only be found between a man and a woman. I’ve experienced the true, unconditional love given freely by God, my Father. But the human replication of that love is still unknown to me. I’ve experienced one-sided infatuation, and even mutual interest, but not love. It’s love that I am most longing for, but also what I am most afraid of. I think it is simply just a fear of the unknown. All I have known of that kind of love is what has been portrayed to me through media, my friends, and my family. And in many cases, it is a selfish, superficial love, which is not what I am looking for, nor what I am willing to give. I could never take the chance of losing love to find romance. And since I have not yet found love, I don’t want to take the risk of romance in order to find tainted love.

But what is love, anyway? Is it the upside-down stomach when you think of that one, special person? Is it a feeling or emotion? Is it the pounding of your heart when you look into eyes that hold the answer to your questions? Is it just a word you write to explain how much something means to you? Or can it be something more meaningful and much deeper than that? I believe it is, or can be. I worry though, that I’m not deep enough to love someone that way. I guess love is built on trust, so when you grow to trust someone, love develops as a result of that. But can love also be two people who have there own seperate personalities, interests, strengths and weaknesses, and when those two people come together in a relationship, they complete each other? I want to find such love. Love that doesn’t care about what the other person looks like now, but cares about still being “in love” after many years of being together. In talking with another good friend about this, she said that I may feel as though I’ve been missing out on love, but really, I have that much more love to give to the right man.

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close. –Pablo Neruda (1904 – 1973)

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