never-say-die incurable romantic!
—a writer, musician, or artist whose work is characterized by freedom of form and an emphasis on subjective qualities of emotion and imagination : a writer, musician, or artist of Romanticism
—having an inclination for romance : responsive to the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is idealized, remote, mysterious, heroic, or adventurous
—of, relating to, or constituting the part of the hero especially in a light comedy
–adherence to a romantic attitude or style
—a person who thinks a lot about love and does and says things that show strong feelings of love for someone
—marked by expressions of love or affection: conducive to or suitable for lovemaking
—someone who is not realistic or practical : someone who thinks that things are better or more exciting than they really are
—having no basis in fact : imaginary
— impractical in conception or play : visionary
—a literary, artistic, and philosophical movement originating in the 18th century, characterized chiefly by a reaction against neoclassicism and an emphasis on the imagination and emotions; and marked especially in English literature by sensibility and the use of autobiographical material, an exaltation of nature, social progress, political liberation, personal freedom, and the common man, an interest in the remote, a predilection for the mystical, and the use in poetry of older verse forms
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“LUF es lyf, …& Lyf es luf”
(LOVE is life, & Life is love)
—Blessed Richard Rolle of Hampole (1290?-1349)
“Love is life, and Life is love.”
—His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1917?-2008) San Francisco, 1959 – first world teaching tour
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I’m in love with life. I’m in love with people and with nature, with the world and its creatures, with the planet, and the universe. I’m in love with space and time, and with the “womb” of eternal & infinite Love within which this universe of space and time arises, is suspended & submerged. I’m in love with goodness & beauty, with the goodness & beauty of nature, the natural goodness & beauty of human beings, and with the goodness & beauty that we humans create in the world from within ourselves. I’m in love with creativity & the arts. I’m in love with consciousness and conscious evolution, with wisdom, knowledge, learning and understanding. I’m in love with local, regional, and planetary cultures and progressive, life-enhancing, life-nurturing countercultures. I’m in love with the creative imagination and what it manifests.
I’m in love with so much…that when I think of “romantic love” as it applies specifically to the mutual relationship between myself and a woman with whom I have shared, or shall share, a romantic domestic life-partnership, I’m not often inclined to “scope-down” the vision of considerations to that of daily dyadic romantic love-life only, compared to that relationship’s own larger nature in the cosmic context of its true existence and identity….
I have enjoyed a very rich romantic love-life, including, above all, an intensely fulfilling ideal love-marriage-&-best-friends life-partnership that lasted many years, ending only in my young beloved’s too-early death. But I also have enjoyed some other, less-complete-but-also-wonderful relationships as well, even including some wonderful one-day or one-night-only romantic encounters that were truly beautiful & lastingly meaningful.
And I have also experienced long and short periods when I enjoyed living alone either by choice or circumstance during which I was not involved in any romantic partnership, but was so in love with life itself that I barely missed having a romantic partner. On the other hand, I have also experienced being so overwhelmed by the desire to share the beauty and overflowing joy of my solitary life with a suitable partner, that I felt as if I would explode or expire. Seeing a gorgeous, heavenly beautiful sunrise while alone in the mountains and automatically half-turning to share my overwhelmed delight & appreciation with a best-friend/sweetheart companion next to me, and suddenly remembering I was alone….
I love my own company, and have always required a certain amount of periodic solitude in order to return to feeling wholly sane after too many days among other people. But my decades of blissfully married romance constantly re-confirmed that, for me, even the most deliciously fulfilling silent solitude is even richer when shared with a mutually suitable romantic life-partner.
When not in a relationship, I tend to experience periodic mild and strong crushes, crushes on women who are not always necessarily “celebrities”, but typically are women I don’t know well. If I already know a woman fairly well, such a crush is really more of a fond friendship or acquaintance, but I guess a somewhat “romantically-wishful” kind of mostly-one-sided fond friendship or acquaintance is precisely a kind of crush… Crushes certainly have their weird delights at times, but they fade completely in comparison to actually experiencing strongly mutual all-round love in a daily relationship of a deeply romantic and companionable sort.
While less-than-total relationships also have their delightful aspects, I’m utterly spoiled by my own history of enjoying a many-years-long married partnership that was as richly full and holistic as possible. So at this point in my life, I’m just not interested in partial romances (I never was, really, except as a poor substitute for, or stepping-stone toward, completely full romantic partnership). I realize that such partial passages are sometimes a necessary preliminary stage, however temporary, toward a much more complete, fully-stable partnership. But other than the function they serve as sometimes-necessary developmental bridges, or stop-gaps, I’m not really interested in partial, conditional romantic relationships (or in dating, by or for itself). Yes, they also can be a lot of fun, of course, and deeply meaningful within the limits of their conditionality. But I’m interested in such partial things only as they may occur in the form of contextual steps in discovering who I will be mutually, ideally suited to be with in life as lasting, all-round equal partners.
I’m not interested in undertaking or undergoing any future “flings” or “love affairs,” or in nursing any serious unrequited crushes. I’m not interested in being in a most-likely-temporary-only girlfriend/boyfriend relationship, or in pursuing casual or serious dating—except as any of these sorts of conditional-relatings may lead to a fulfilling life-partnership full of deep romance-&-best-friendship pairing. As they may continue to come along, I may be open to engaging in them, and enjoying them as much as possible, as means to an end, but what I really look forward to is once again being in a richly holistic sweetheart-&-best-friends life-partnership entered into as being of the “happily ever after” sort, whether formal marriage is legally registered at some point or not.
Romantic love has always been a deeply important part of my life. This goes right back to my very early childhood. I have a few memories of the time when I could already mostly understand what adults would say to me, but yet when I was still too young to speak intelligibly. As I have written elsewhere on this blog-site, even as far back as those early days I was aware of women’s beauty, kindness, and attractiveness. I was aware of responsive feelings within myself which I later came to understand were the bases of both romantic affection and sexual & aesthetic attraction, appreciation and desire. Before I was old enough to begin attending school I was already experiencing strong crushes on girls and grown women, including some who were in my personal sphere,—friends of my parents, or neighbors living down the street, and others who were celebrities of movies, magazines, TV, etc.
As I have also previously written on this site, things only became richer—both more enjoyably intense and more difficultly complex—when I first started attending school (kindergarten). I had already learned to read and write by then, and one of the first things I remember writing was a love poem & love letter composed to win the affection of my kindergarten crush. It worked. And I never looked back.
Throughout my life I have experienced a great deal of such feelings and have experienced several significant relationships based on such feelings. Most of this has been untellably wonderful, some of it has been unspeakably awful. By and large, I would have to say all the pain of unrequited and failed love seems worth it when I remain duly cognizant of how wonderfully fulfilling true mutual well-suited love is. But all the same, I would certainly simply rather not experience any less-than-full & fully mutual, fully suitable kinds of love-feelings. But I am just not wired that way. I’m almost always crushing more or less strongly on one woman, or multiple women, unless and until I’m actually immersed in an actual active mutual love-relationship. Occasionally I’m simply a happy half-hermit half-boulevadier kind of single man, but most of the time I’m either deeply partnered in love or single-but-looking to be deeply partnered in love.
As I constantly reiterate, the most wonderful romantic relationship in my life was the loving partnership I shared for many years of exquisite happiness with my now late sweetheart-wife. Ours was truly a blessed love-&-partnership, impossible to begin to adequately or accurately summarize or convey in words. Just remarkably wonderful in every way. The only “complaint” I have about this romance, besides the fact that my partner passed away, is that it utterly spoiled me for anything significantly less than what shall be similarly richly full. Any amount and type of honest love is worthwhile, of course. And I shall always be grateful for whatever love is offered by life. But I’m quite spoiled now, knowing that real life on this Earth can daily exceed the wildest fantasies of even so goofily romantic a fool as I had always previously been & remain. Much as I had always implicitly trusted my romantic vision, I had also half-written it off as probably an impossible fantasy. Now, I’m afraid I shall always only be truly fulfilled again by and with The Real Thing, The Whole Thing. Meanwhile, I remain fully open to meeting most anyone on their own terms. No harm in meeting any goodhearted person at any time, you never know what may develop, love is magical in that way. Life is love, and Love is life.
“When people are truly in love, they experience far more than just a mutual need of each other’s company and consolation. In their relations with each other they become different people: they are more than their everyday selves, more alive, more understanding, more enduring… They are made over into new beings. They are transformed by the power of their love. Love is the revelation of our deepest personal meaning, value and identity. But this revelation remains impossible as long as we are the prisoners of our own egoism…. My true meaning and worth are shown to me not in my estimate of myself, but in the eyes of the one who loves me; and that one must love me as I am, with my faults and limitations, revealing to me the truth that these faults and limitations cannot destroy my worth in the eyes of that one who loves me; and that I am therefore valuable as a person, in spite of my shortcomings, in spite of the imperfections of my exterior “package.” The package is totally unimportant. What matters is this infinitely precious message which I can discover only in my love for another person. And this message, this secret, is not fully revealed to me unless at the same time I am able to see and understand the mysterious and unique worth of the one I love.”
— Thomas Merton (1915-1968), from “Love and Need”
Sara Close, on loving, & losing her late partner, Jonny Copp (1984-2009):
“I will always be in love with him, — but that’s separate from any other love I’m gonna have. He wouldn’t want me to be sitting around crying, or not be doing things to my fullest potential. It’s not what our relationship was about, it’s not why we fell in love. And that’s a gift he gave me, of this capacity to grow, and to look at things positively.
“…You can be madly, passionately, head-over-heels in love with somebody. And when they’re not there anymore, think like, “How the heck am I ever gonna love like that again? That was unique! That was once in a lifetime!” And it was once in a lifetime, and you had it, and what a gift! But I think you learn to love different people, because everyone’s going to touch your heart in different ways. And your heart’s huge.
“There’s a lot more areas to be unlocked and a lot more areas to be touched than the way that just one person touched you. And I think it’s giving credit to yourself, and knowing your expanse, and your potential. …Taking the time to grow that, I think gives you more ways to love, and to be loved by people. …Yeah, I like love.”
from video Wildlove with Sara Close