Tuesday, July 08, 2003

i left mine in a banana tree, once upon a time

Some people believe that love, when it comes about, has the power of surprise and the force of an earthquake, more than enough to level whatever sensibilities or defenses one has, signalling an inevitable capitulation. And it happens in the blink of an eye, like a thief in the night. (But it never stays in one place, for opportunities for havoc are everpresent.)

Others believe that love, while initially based on some degree of attraction (physical, mental or a killer dress sense), starts as not-love but grows into love over time, as two (or more) individuals engage in the politics of discovery and the romatic game of peek-a-boo.

Some believe that love is a choice, oblivious to factors of chemistry or rules of attraction. These people exercise the power of selection and downplay the influence of the heart. Love, and its attendant manifestations, follows later - and this is important, because the appearance of love is often mistaken as love itself.

There are also those for whom love of others is simply not in the cards. Not because they are inept nor incapable of loving, but because, in the great totem pole of things, it simply does not command priority at the current time. There are more important things, more valuable experiences - and there is a difference between love and sex.

Some people, burnt by horrendous experiences, callous partners and destructive circumstances have either sworn to never love again or have been so traumatized that the very thought of love brings on a staggering series of dolorous flashbacks, enough to break their fractured hearts over and over again - a single word spoken by a stranger can cause the stars to fall.

Some are simply incapable of love - to some degree. These people can love family, even friends, work, art or cause, but cannot love the Other. Reasons are numerous, much are valid, some require deep analysis. These folk walk like giants - towering in their solitude, but moving nonetheless to some destination known only to other imaginary creatures.

For some, love is as vast as the endless night sky. For others, it is partitioned, like pie slices, from a finite whole.

For some, love does not run out; its source overflows. For others, when love is given away freely, it is never reclaimed, and the net loss is felt; the heart may regenerate, or it may not.

Some carry their hearts out in the open, ubiquitous like cell phones (pumping, texting ineffable "Gud AM"s).

Others wear their hearts in armor (adamantine, impossible to open except for the secret word that can be found by accident or circumstance).

Some, like me, leave their hearts hidden in the leaves of a banana tree (a clever place, enough to fool a crocodile - but not someone who is cleverer than you and a crocodile).

When I read about other people thinking about love, I imagine all these things.


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