Friday, August 15, 2008

There's Nowhere You Can Be That Isn't Where You're Meant To Be. It's Easy.

It seems likely that a person would be nauseated if they could be presented with a physical collection of all that has been written about human partnerships since the inception of language. Such a collection would constitute a small-scale Library of Babel, and if one could ever read every tome that lined the shelves of its lengthy halls, they wouldn't have any better understanding of love or commitment or partnership or humanity itself than they did before they undertook such an epic task. It's a terrible irony that we can spend our whole lives looking for something we are unable to define, and that given as many chances as we are to try to satisfy our desires, we often die without knowing whether what we had during our lives is what we had intended to gain all that time.

It is a law of the universe that people are irrevocably social beings. Though general ideas of love and happiness have changed drastically over time and across cultures, people need to be with people. It is one of the true blessings of our existence, and it is also one of the most painful things we must endure.

And having sampled the highs and lows of love and commitment, which should a person let win out in the inner battle that ensues when it's time to start over: the steely, jaded mind or the leaping, idealistic heart? And which does a person usually end up following? What terrible games we must play with our souls.

What do you do when you feel close to another person? Do you pursue romance, so that intimacy can be amplified to lovely, dizzing heights, or do you maintain some form of distance, so that you never have to be afraid of crashing from those highs, of damaging your bond and opening a rift that might never be bridged? How does one ever know which is the right answer? And how frustrating is it that we can never really know whether our gamble paid off, because we can never see what lies down the other road once we've passed the fork?

And time, it's always fleeting. What do we do about time? It often feels like it spends us with cold indifference, and there is so little of us to spend. How painful it is to feel as though you might never be satisfied with the amount of time you have left to spend with someone you care about, be it weeks or years or your whole natural life. But paradoxically, how wonderful it feels to have someone who so strongly stirs your emotion.

I've had to catch myself, because this all seems nearly pessimistic. It's not hopelessness or negativity, though, just thoughtful consideration. I don't know that I could ever be convinced that it isn't worth it to give yourself over to someone you care about. I know that I'm always at my happiest when I have someone close to share experience with. I merely struggle with finding ways that seem sufficient to let them know how important they truly are.

Sometimes it seems an impossible bit to swallow, but it's true: all you need is love. And at times, maybe a little patience, too.

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