Love is elusive

Love is elusive. Or, should I say, love can be elusive. I’m not speaking of love for a family member or friend. I’m talking about romantic love. I’m talking about the rare, coveted experience that two people are fortunate to share. I’m talking about deep, spiritual love that takes your breath away.

I started to ruminate over the subject of love while developing a concept for a new story which I intend to write. Of course, in exploring the subject of love, I’m referencing and including my own personal experiences with it during my life. And, although this is my own perception, I feel like it’s a universal perspective.

I believe that love can be like a rare, exotic butterfly. It’s beautiful and alluring yet not easy to capture or obtain. The essence of it is a mystery.  It entices, confounds and frustrates us. Even when we catch it, become involved with it and wrestle with its complexities we’re still aware of its indefinable impermanence.

Love. The mere mention of the word piques our attention. What is love? What is it about it that attracts us to it, and sometimes repels us at the same time? It’s impossible. It’s intangible. It’s beautiful and brilliant and puzzling.

We try to reach out and grasp love, but it slips through our hands. We try to love each other the best we can, but like a distressed fabric we come apart at the seams. There is nothing to hold onto to allow it to exist past its inherent expiration date. The transparency of its inevitable demise is ever present in our lives, threatening to win in the end and make us face our fragile mortality.

Yet, aware of its intricacy, we bravely march on, ignoring its betrayal in hopes that we can capture it in its purest form. We dance with it, sing along with it, embrace it, and masquerade as infallible beings with it, in order to attempt to possess it.  We are noble and courageous souls on a solitary journey to obtain the unattainable.

Sure we may have our precious little time with it. We may have great experiences that last much longer than expected.  We may have surprised it, and grasped it in our hands. And we may have had more than our fair share of it. But what we might not realize, whether we’ve been fortunate enough to indulge in it or not, is that it’s literally beyond our reach. We may fail to understand that its beauty can simply be found in its enigmatic elusiveness.

The feeling of elusiveness I believe is best illustrated in one of my favorite novels, “The Great Gatsby”. If you saw the movie you might remember the image of Robert Redford’s character Jay Gatsby reaching out for the green light on Daisy’s dock across the harbor from where he lived. The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, wrote, “He (Gatsby) had come such a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it. But what he did not know was that it was already behind him, somewhere in the vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.”

In the movie “Moonstruck”, Nicholas Cage (Ronny) tells his love interest Cher (Loretta) what he thinks about love. The following edited dialogue is from when they’re standing outside of Ronny’s apartment in the cold and snow…


“Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is and I didn’t know this either. But love don’t make things nice, it ruins everything, it breaks your heart, it makes things a mess. We’re not here to make things perfect. Snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. We are here to ruin ourselves and break our hearts and love the wrong people and die! The storybooks are bullshit. Come upstairs with me! Don’t try to live your life out to somebody else’s idea of sweet happiness. Come upstairs with me and get in my bed! Come on! (pleading) Come on…”

That kind of says it all, don’t you think? Beautiful…


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