What "love" is I don't know if it's not the response of our deepest natures to one another. ~William Carlos Williams
This week has given me an opportunity to reflect on love and the state of being in love. Often casually referenced in the same context, they are, I believe, quite different. Being in love carries a measure of biological urgency. It is a heightened state of impracticality and idealism. Similar to a concussion, it can be accompanied by nausea and blurred vision. You don’t look, you gaze, and the object is imagined as near perfection. Those in love can rarely be apart and when together, are oblivious to the rest of the world. It is new and startling. It is electric. You are bullet proof when in love. You can be mysterious, damaged, emotional and brooding when in love. It fuels the desire of the beloved. There are aspects of the beloved that you believe you can change. You can’t, but you don’t know that yet. You merely shelve those ambitions for a rainy day. It is also extremely easy to fall out of being in love. I have done it at a moment’s notice at least 10 times. Though being in love is a conduit to love, in the end, it does not guarantee its actuality.
Love is the trenches. It is perhaps the least human characteristic humanly possible; it is a complete state of vulnerability and inflicts a loss of self. Love is sight. Sometimes it is straining to see across a vast distance (literally and figuratively.) It allows one to reveal the absolute truth about them self and still remain standing. It is forgetful, as layers of scar tissue grown around a million tiny pinpricks. It is fortification bolstered by each worldly and time-inflicted wound experienced together. It is calloused fingertips resting on your inner thigh. Its physicality is loaded with intellectual intimacy, much like an equation resulting in a single organism. As an infiltrating condition, love is far more difficult to extract oneself from. It will leave a permanent scar.
When you are in love you cannot imagine the profundity that is the mundane, day-to-day experience of sharing a life with another person. Being in love is an intense state of mind based on expectations and plans. Love carries the patina of time and experience, accomplishment and disappointment, and while you sometimes cast fleeting glances at the headiness that is being in love, you quickly recall the nausea and blurred vision. As with any long journey, you sometimes put the map in the glove box, and wait to see where life continues to take you. It has taken you amazing places already.