Love is… a world full of possibility


Love is… a world full of possibility

I weep for people who want to possess one love, one person. Love that keeps you young and alive is random and spectacularly multi-dimensional, writes JAN WOLMARANS.


PEOPLE who invest all their love in one human must suffer sad and desperate poverty. How dreadful that must be. Watching and hearing the same drama with minor variations for 50 years. Madness.

Love that keeps you young and alive is random and spectacularly multi-dimensional. All over and everywhere, powered by surprise. One may fall deeply in love with a sudden song, a wild colour, a lingering memory, the way a woman laughs, the way a man quietly smiles. I can fall profoundly in love with an old pop album, an opera aria with new meaning after I have been wounded and at last understand the drama of simple words, the design of a car I can never afford and the arresting eye-energy of someone I could never meet, never speak to.

Pure and unadulterated love, all of it. It soothes. It burns pain away. An hour in a restaurant, from the opening of that exquisite adventure called a menu, then the tinkling of wine glasses, the heady aroma, the quiet setting of the table and the view of the sea, all of these things sweeten my old heart and mind with an orgasmic endorphin, a rush of adrenalin, a caress of careless opium, a radius of rainbow that stretches far and wide and lasts the length of a radio story, then evaporates to make space for a dog at home that selflessly adores you for 18 years, or the song of a bird that lasts for three seconds, in a tree at a window. Falling in love with a book is a real adventure, the exposition a risky journey, the crisis a complete threat and dangerous challenge, the climax an all-embracing love affair for as long as memory recalls the delicate music.

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Every air ticket is a love story. Some sad to revisit, to bury, to adorn with flowers, tears, others opening a lifelong dazzle of prayers in sacred cathedrals and on the mountains of all things past. Dancing. Going for a long drive with a picnic-basket and two old friends is a sing-along love story, begotiated high on the wings of caring and sharing, togetherness that traverses decades, transcends all the characters we all were while growing up, wounded by love, to then grow deeper with humour and with letting go.

Release. Setting free. Love is the mindful caress of old scars, hard-core lessons in survival, treacherous exams in adulthood, tattoos of lessons learned and places conquered. Love is being at ease with the sad album of damage that turned you from a young adventurer into a wiser traveller. Love is forgiveness of yourself for having dared. Love is the exquisite pain of a romance that never blossomed into a kiss. The hiding away of an opera of broken words.

I cry for people who want to possess one love, one person, and to own another human completely, in one life crucified into repetitive moves, routes, routine towards gradual insanity and monotonous pseudo-responsibility, the drudgery of dread. You can fill your being with ecstasy at a plant nursery acquiring new and refreshing flowers and shrubs. New life. Love responsive. You can drown old pain with an ice-cream on a mountain walk. Love is all around and not confined to a single person or group of friends. Get out. Get open. Taste.

Love has endless senses: touch, smell, hearing, sight, taste, intuition, dreams, déjà vu, warning, and the random abandon of it all, welcoming a fresh breeze of dangerous entertainment. Relief. Clivias and azaleas in the shade of an old fig tree.

Love can never be bought, sold, contrived or orchestrated with witchcraft, but it may bloom one late afternoon just by the way someone remarks on a picture, a painting, a view of a small garden alive with greenery and a complete romance of delicate colours.

This is what I tell my sister now. That love is not merely a man. A man may be in the adventure, or maybe a friend and her cat. A child and his puppy. Just get up. Get out. Go fall in love with life. Take the risk. A cream soda float can be a thrilling flirt.

My sister stares into the dark abyss of wretched sorrow. She loves a man who cannot be had. That wicked road of broken bricks, of eyes smashed like windows, shattered.

I avoid that tradition of darkly stilted horror. I do not entertain rejection with self-destruction. I find a dog that needs love and care. I divert, I indulge in small comforts, no serious danger. Not anger. Not regret. And then I find some romance, some lovingness in the morning. Maybe a poem, a new song, fresh herbs in my tea, or an omelette laden with simple goodness. Alone. Never lonely.

♦ VWB ♦

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