― Blaise Pascal, The Mind on Fire: A Faith for the Skeptical and Indifferent
Believe it or not, in my university days, I took a course called Love and It’s Myths. A romantic and dreamer at heart, I foolishly thought that this course could answer some of the burning questions about the yearning and preoccupation humanity seems to have surrounding love.
The course had to do with love and my dreamer-eaque tendencies I assumed that I would be let in upon a closely guarded secret. To my disappointment it had more to do with the professor’s illegitimate progeny and otherwise unsavory indiscretions (stories which he thought made him a ‘cool guy’), I had to keep the visible look of disdain off of my face. Between the tales of ‘conquests’ and a heavy lean towards the philosophies of Pliny, Socrates and the like I was all loved out (reading a good majority of Greek philosophy is not my idea of a good time).
One thing that stuck with me from the course, was the myth of the first humans. The story goes something like this…The God Zeus was doing god-like Zeus things going about his day when he noticed the first humans roaming around upon the earthly plane. The humans which Zeus observed were not the humans which we believe ourselves to be.
The humans which Zeus observed had two heads, two lips, two noses, four eyes, eight limbs. Zeus watching the humans noticed that they were intelligent, and industrious. Fearing the worst; the humans may one day over power him, Zeus had an ingenious plan. He would separate the whole into two halves, each searching for their other half for all time: soul-mates. This is the philosophical explanation for our yearning finding that individual to whom we may say ‘you complete me’, which is considered to be the ultimate expression of oneness or love.
|1. To Be Quoted 2. Duane Michels|
There are other instances of love, friendship, familial and the like which are our first introductions to the idea (if one is so lucky) which gives our souls & hearts if one pays attention which is a glimpse of how love between soul mates should express itself.
Creatives (i.e. poets, artists, writers and musicians), have tried to capture the magic & mystery of love throughout time. The majority of people within the world in their own way are fascinated and in search of the kind of love that makes time stand still. Very few of us are lucky enough to encounter it, and if we are so lucky to hold on to it and give it a snowball’s chance in hell. I mention this with complete sincerity and with the greatest respect for that ‘crazy little thing called love’.
Valentine’s day, comes around every year and it is meant to be wholly representative or is the day where we should that special somebody our love. While cheesy and ostentatious, inherently I have no big moral reason to bash valentines day…my one I guess issue with it (even taking into consideration all of those appropriately placed chocolate options and 3 foot teddy bears one readily sees in the shops, at least in North America), it is it seems insincere. To me, it just seems that when you love somebody, and I mean head over heels, butterflies in your stomach L.O.V. E baby, you show them in little ways every day, perhaps even being unaware that you’re doing it. To me (and I could be wrong), true love, happens in the quiet moments of life, in the little looks, gestures and sweet nothings of the every day. In the original incarnation the day of St Valentinus latin (if you’re a history nerd),the premise of St. Valentine’s day was based within the idea of courtly love. An expression of love through admiration of one’s beloved, often from afar.
On this St. Valentine’s day, I leave you with a quote from one of my favourite films, the romantic that I am ‘Meet Joe Black’. About what else but LOVE.