Stephen Stills once said "There are three things men can do with women: love them, suffer for them, or turn them into literature." It seems to me that the second is all too often a direct product of the first, and one can only seek for temporary release from the third.
Hobbes (of Calvin and) once said "I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each others dreams, we can be together all the time."
It occurs to me that at several times throughout our lives we find ourselves in situations that can either turn in our favor or against. This is, of course, not news to any of you. But it further occurs to me that in the most important of such occasions, those with the potential to alter our entire lives, there is never any middle ground. By this I mean to say that the outcome is either to be pure bliss or absolute misery, and there is little to no chance of anything in between. I don't find myself in situations wherein I'm either going to experience the greatest happiness of my life, or some mediocre outcome, nor do I find myself in situations wherein I'm either going to suffer miserably or experience some mediocre outcome. If one possibility is either bliss or misery, it is a most safe bet that the alternative outcome is the precise opposite.
And what about the heart? Not in the literal sense, of course. Scientifically speaking, the heart simply pumps blood. But think in poetic terms for a moment. How full does the heart have to become before it can break? In the horridly beautiful world of romance, rejection by an attractive stranger may sting, but it can hardly account for a broken heart. It is only once that heart has begun filling itself that it can truly burst. But does it burst from being overfilled? Or does it become so filled simply because of the possibility of it breaking?
Someone once told me that love is not supposed to be painful. I agree, of course, that love itself is not supposed to be and can never be painful. But is it not also true that without some pain, or at least the threat of pain, true love can never flourish? At some point, if we truly love someone, we must open ourselves to them completely; to allow them every opportunity to completely destroy us. This also will not come as news to anyone. But does love come first, or does that vulnerability come first? Is it possible to first love someone and then open ourselves to obliteration at their hands, or must we open ourselves to their attack in order to allow love room to grow?
Jefferson once said that the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Is something similar not true of romance? I often wonder. Even if she never actually does make me bleed, I wonder if I can ever love someone who doesn't at least hold the knife to my throat at some point. Not because I desire pain per se, but simply because relationships are so fragile, moreso at certain moments than at others, that if I don't worry, at least a little, at least at some point or other, that I might lose her, is the relationship even worth saving? That is to say, if I don't fill my heart with so much love that the slightest pinprick could cause it to burst, is it even worth defining such a state as "love" in the first place?