Love letter # 372
It’s the glorious folly of it that attracts me. It’s because it isn’t strictly sensible or grounded in so-called reality, because the risks are so enormous, because it invites such suffering and disappointment and courts at every step disillusion and potential bitterness. Even though we cannot say precisely what it is and it so often founders upon our fears and frailties, we venture into it anyway. And although we can dismiss it as the necessary trick of our genes, the sucker punch of evolution, still we love one another. Still we declare it, sing it, rejoice in its frequently broken promise of extraordinary and transformative deliverance.
For love, like hope and faith, allows us face the void, to find meaning in the wake of futility. To render the brute and nigh mechanical business of continuing worthwhile. While we walk along this path, knowing full well where it ends, we can either do so in terror and denial, or with hubris and conceit, or – with our quixotic love tilting at the windmills of inevitability – with an eye for the awesome and utterly fragile beauty of it all.
In this way, love is also a kind of defiance – not an arrogant denial or noisy protest, but rather, a grateful embrace. Because it is not the end that love defies, but the fear of its approach. If we must finally fall, and stumble badly before we get there, let us be together while we do it. Let us be alive as we go. Let us face the clock that counts it all down and say: you are measuring time, we are loving it. And to the very edge of darkness we shall bring the beautiful light.