Letting your love out

Famous love stories are full of joy, tragedy, despair, elation, passion, adultery and usually some form of god damn unrequited love. True love, history and life have proven never to be straightforward, black and white or simple. The tempestuous or romanticised relationships of Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, Lancelot and Guinevere, Rhett and Scarlett, Daisy and Gatsby, Mulder and Scully, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy set standards for measuring passion, longevity, challenges, or the undefinable rules of love. Measurement of love success in my case, my grandparents and my parents is in the failure of enduring to honour the ‘until death do us part’ of marriage. Love I have come to appreciate is not equated with marriage and my generational history is clouded in the prophecies of lost relationships, tragic love stories or non achievement of everlasting love.

Romantic love is rarely ever simple or straight forward but for those of you who have had a Cinderella story, lucky you. Historically I am scripted to enjoy viewing on screen, reading in books, and first hand witnessing beautiful love stories. My favourite love story movies would be an Officer and a Gentleman, Legends of the Fall, Titanic, Love Actually and P.S. I Love You. I empathise with star-crossed lovers, those who have experienced lost love, and lovers who suffer the mental anguish and complexity of duty, religion and culture on the ability to share and declare love and of course the challenges that culminate in the wake of missed love opportunities.

Love touches and warms souls and is the most beautiful, perplexing, interesting and defining emotion that we humans will experience. The theme of plays, novels, movies, art and life, it is the utmost emotion we need to be happy.  Shakespeare was a master of documenting it, as is Woody Allen and James Cameron, Gabriel Garcia Marquez won a Nobel prize for exploring it, Klimt captured it in The Kiss and then there is the female perspective and exploration of love by Jane Austen and the Brontes. Mr Darcy is legendary as is Heathcliff and Cathy, Rochester and Jane. Apart from grief, the loss or absence of romantic love can elicit emotional pain, a loss of joy, vitality and depending on the circumstances, anger, confusion and an irrepressible longing that clouds life. 

I am full of love for my family and my friends, yet it is the elusive missing lover that I hope chances into my life. The real love stories in my life are few, I have experienced great love but also divorce, betrayal, greed and too many ugly moments and interferences that whittled away and destroyed what was once a youthful love, marriage and what I thought would be a relationship that lasted eternally. Yet, my family history is full of love gone wrong and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. As I sit contemplating whether and if ever I will fall in love again, what I know is best summed up by others.

  1. “It is better to love wisely, no doubt: but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all.” Thackeray.
  2. “The course of true love never did run smooth”  &  “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none” – Shakespeare.
  3. I just wish I knew how to quit you- Brokeback Mountain.

The people and in particular men I have bared my soul to are few. If I have your respect, trust and friendship that to me is worth almost as much as your love.  I love my children with all my heart and seeing them find love as adults, makes my heart burst with joy. If I develop a love with the man of my dreams, I truly will be even more blessed than I am now. As it is the moments we spend developing love, that lasts forever in memory. Life is a lifetime, love is a feeling and as an optimist, I believe that patience and grace will endure and life and love will unfold as it is meant to.

“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom. Think of love as a state of grace, not the means to anything, but the alpha and omega. An end in itself.” – Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera.

 

 

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Colleen Walsh

Woman, mother, sister, daughter & member of humanity

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