by Henrylito D. Tacio
Love is timeless. It is impenetrable, elusive, and defies definition. A lot of people – famous and notorious – tried to elucidate on the subject but it still baffles human beings until now. Love is easy to define but very hard to comprehend.
It was because of love that Helen left her kingdom to join her beloved in Troy. Love (or was it lust?) was the reason why David sent the husband of “the woman who caught his eye” to war. For God loved so much human beings that He sent His Only Son to die in their behalf so that they will join Him in heaven forever (read John 3:16 for that).
“Where do I begin to tell the story of how great a love can be?” asked a line of the theme song of Erich Segal’s Love Story. Well, a lot of songs have been written on love. Composers never run out of ideas.
Diana Ross and Lionel Richie sang together: “My love, there’s only you in my life. The only thing that’s right. My first love, you’re every breath that I take, you’re every step I make.” George Benson crooned, “If I had to live my life without you near me. The days would all be empty the nights would seem so long. With you I see forever oh so clearly. I might have been in love before but I never felt this strong.”
“Have you even been in love?” asked Rose Walker. “Horrible, isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life.”
Yes, love cannot be fathomed or explained fully. Marcel Proust tries to give this idea: “In reality, in love there is a permanent suffering which joy neutralizes, renders virtual, delays, but which can at any moment become what it would have become long earlier if one had not obtained what one wanted, atrocious.”
Do you believe that? What about this one from Molly Haskell: “But one of the attributes of love, like art, is to bring harmony and order out of chaos, to introduce meaning and affect where before there was none, to give rhythmic variations, highs and lows to a landscape that was previously flat.”
Robert G. Ingersoll gives us a concrete yet contrasting views about love. He wrote: “Love is the only bow on life’s dark cloud. It is the morning and the evening Star. It shines upon the cradle of the babe, and sheds its radiance upon the quiet tomb. It is the mother of Art, inspirer of poet, patriot, and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart, builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth.
He further stated: “It was the first to dream of immortality. It fills the world with melody, for music is the voice of love. Love is the magician, the enchanter that changes worthless things to joy, and makes right royal kings and queens of common clay. It is the perfume of the wondrous flower — the heart and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts; but with it, earth is heaven and we are gods.”
Everybody loves a fairy tale. This happened to American actress Grace Kelly, who retired from acting when she married Prince Rainier II of Monaco in 1956. Diana Spencer became the toast of the world when she married Charles Philip Arthur George, heir to the British throne. But these fairy tales ended in tragedy; both princesses died in vehicular accidents.
Love can also be tragic. A lot of famous authors wrote novels on such theme. One of the most popular was Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. The leading character left her husband and child for the handsome Alexander Vronsky, who rejected her later on. With no future or past to turn to, she committed suicide by throwing herself under a train.
Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights chronicled the tragic love story of Cathy and Heathciff. War separated the lovers Evangeline Bellefortaine and Gabrile Lajeunesse in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie.
Age doesn’t matter when it comes to love. In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, both lovers were teenagers. But it didn’t stop them to love each other – even ending their lives in tragic manner: Romeo drinks poisons while Juliet stabs herself.
Why do people kill themselves for the sake of their beloved? George Sand has this answer: “There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” His High the Dalai Lama echoes the same sentiment: “When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
Bayard Taylor wrote: “I love thee, I love but thee, with a love that shall not die – till the sun grows cold and the stars grow old.”
If you love someone, what kind of principle do you follow? American psychologist Erich Fromm shares this information: “Infantile love follows the principle: ‘I love because I am loved.’ Mature love follows the principle: ‘I am loved because I love.’ Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says: ‘I need you because I love you.'”
Through the years, I have collected love quotations. One of those I really like best was the one written by Roy Croft: “I love you not only for what you are but for what I am when I am with you.”
William Arthur Ward penned: “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.”
Finally, here’s what I like from William Shakespeare: “My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.” — ###