Love Can Wait, For Now

LOVE CAN WAIT, FOR NOW ~

 

A short literary gamble on feelings and emotions:

~

Did he not think that a beautiful woman might be loved by other men too? For she was a beautiful woman, and he righteously believed in his love for her to be the absolute; with such fervent passion he loved her, that thoughts for any such other love to exist in the universe were simply not credible; and wherever she went, no matter how far or near, his love was right there beside her. 

The relationship lasted two years. The passion never died, except the reigns of their loyalty split in two. The expectation of good health was surpassed by childishness and an ignorance towards the assembly of emotions. Her patience grew thin with his virtue and endless praise, and, as a result, his exceedingly well-mannered compliments and countless gifts lost their touch of romance; cracks grew where love’s stem was bound in the first place. The one eternal spring, the fountain of youth, which is able to sustain growth in the love of Apollo, is known not to mere mortals and vain kingdoms, but perhaps only by mortals claiming the status of the Gods themselves; an imitation of innocence, where the meek and humble acquire the power and wealth to steer clear of any conflict. But this was not the case in point.  

As feelings sharpened, and time lost track of itself, desires fell short and the frustration of long-term partnership set in like a sphinx without a set of skin. Her beauty did not wane, but her honey-coated love for him began to feel like a boiled sore, and became a disservice unto her own image; entirely consumed she was by an energy in contradiction of the conjecture of rationality and progress – and without the honourable aberration of higher states to do with divinity. Did he not think it suspicious that a woman should love a man with all of her heart, and with an unboundedly deep affection? It was clear, that after the inevitable implosion of such strong feelings, she would imminently need to love another in order to disperse them yet again; and indeed, she soon fancied what loving a different man might be like – surely they could not all be the same: ignorant of the women they devotedly claim, and of whom they claim as destiny by marriage? 

Her veil of of a hidden countenance grew darker as winter came early in October. And yet, her thoughts still encroached the surface of her pale-blooded cheeks, cemented by a fragile appearance of paradise lost, out there somewhere in the ether. He arrived home, looking rather similar as he had two years prior, to complain about the weather, and how nauseating it was to experience a severely cold and weathered climate in the autumn. They drank a rich red wine together to compensate, sharing a parallel view of their confused love; reconciliation. Although, she barely lifted her eyelids to allow the inner experience out, and in restricting him from view, the sense arose that whatever inward nature was sealed, it was bound to appear in a dramatic disclosure, sooner or later.

He, during tidings of retreat, looked like a child whose mother had refused him something. Could a young man, well-dressed and polite, not be let into the life of whomever he rightfully must choose to love? Or, if he picks any woman at random, is he still not confined to a sinful state, of that passionate fruit, swallowed whole by a mistress, condemned unwittingly to all of eternity in her frightful bosom? The man, who was also slim and appeared figuratively saint-like, having fasted on and off for two years during his oath of allegiance to this beautiful woman, considered himself, on the contrary, totally alive in such a pit of darkness. He wrestled with sin. He imagined sloth and greed pathing the next steps in his forbidden span of life-time; selfishness would eat all the good souls alive, all because of the traumatic experience involved in sustaining one relationship; they were in the trenches, soldiers of the world war – everyone was; but, regardless of the sins being worn, he was remarkably content about them, even prepared for the good fight – at least he knew he was a sinner. 

Many men had indeed laid eyes upon this young woman. She knew that she was attractive, knowing how to correctly apply make-up and look confident, knowing which way to brush her hair, and knowing exactly where to look at another man, with strident blue eyes the size of seashells. But this dexterous flame of beauty was reserved for blowing on the embers of other men; strangers, customers, mostly foreigners. For at the dinner table, on that cold night in October, she purposefully restricted her gaze, and even plummeted herself into ugliness, sneering her nose at him like a rusty bolt wedged into the side of a steel pinnacle. Her bonny face disappeared into bone, flesh was pushed aside, and, for a moment, she wore grey and red, her forehead like a burning spit of pig, lifeless, and her pointed ears wrapped in shrivelled hair, stained in dry conditioner, looked as if a rat had smelt the substance and decided to hatch an egg upon the poison within. It was an extraordinary display in hostility and physical self-effacement; twisted vein of profanity. 

Her pupil appeared beneath the shadow of sunken black eyes, and all the wine that had been copiously spilt down her skinny breast fell from view, as she exclaimed, quietly and with little hesitation, except for a sharp intake of breath, presumably expecting it to be her last, ‘Paul, I have no more feelings left. I love you, but I can’t love you any longer.’

He understood how she felt, for he had thought the same, but only on whimsical occasions, like early mornings stubbing your toe, or spilling boiling coffee over a new set of pyjamas; accidents were always her fault, and anger, when it releases venom, turns, for a split-second, into serious hatred. But, regardless of such intimate familiarities, the statement felt real, it had tonne-footing and, thus, he wisely adopted a manner of caution, or thereabouts.

‘I understand. Let’s get some rest. Love can wait, for now.’ But it would keep waiting until the sun expelled itself from the Paradise Garden, as no divine intervention ever took place where pride is concerned, and they both felt far too important to be apart from one another; she was dragging herself through clouds, by the prick of her flesh, and he, with an ordeal of arrogance, was letting her, refusing to allow his love to slip away. Unless swallowed up by the sewers of London, a city hell-bent on littering and shedding excrement, the dirty spell cast about in the streets would leave them be. Love would always be more comfortable indoors.  

A young man, and a beautiful young woman – both of them felt guilty. He was naïve for believing that no other man would entreat his love, and now he felt pity for the consequences of her ugliness, that underneath it all, maybe a woman is supposed to be loved by more than a single man. It could be the one true source of happiness for her: the attention of others, and rightly so. A year previously, she had struck infidelity with another man, acquired a taste for lust, and never stopped seeing him since. She knew that he partook in the knowledge of her adultery, but seemingly, began to forget about it, willing it away. His rage was confined to the bedroom, during daylight hours, comforted by closed curtains, behind which he would sometimes scream at the window, alone. His passion turned into lunacy, an unquenchable thirst for this beautiful woman, clearly so wonderful to him that not even an incorrigible sin would be serious enough for cause to depart.  

The doom of breaking love’s law would doubtless reveal itself; he was a man of forgiveness, but monogamy was the truest form of self he knew, and thus he was putting off the spell of harm done to them as much as she. Loathing would eventually break the bread, into worthless little pieces, and he considered himself guilty of being such a fool. In most cases, a fool is completely without chance in life, not least in a world strictly censured by the implication of beggars – is that what he had become? A wrapper torn open to the impenetrable tie of a Borromean knot; presenting guilt, innocence, and seduction, and that by all three accounts he considered himself well-versed in corroborating.  

She, untying herself from the chair, stood, and flashed her coloured eyes, now infected with a bygone purple eye-liner, directly into the fear-wrenched lungs of her lover. His fear climbed higher, sticking to his throat, as she threw her attention on the door and picked up her gloves and coat. The subject of weather could no longer be of an importance, as reality took on a new shape, distinct from appearances, and familiar only to those whom in imagination carry with them a heart punctured and pierced. Tears began dribbling across the floor in the form of a melted icicle carved into a glacier upon a strawberry flavoured mountain-top; the essence of a dream they shared whenever sentiment emerged out from beneath their subconscious. It was images that starved reality of its real properties, as the events on this occasion belonged to the point of fact: her eyes grew like flooded swimming pools with crimson dye. 

‘Don’t leave. Not yet. These are normal feelings.’ He manoeuvred her delicately towards the empty fireplace as he spoke, believing in the space as if it were given to yielding heat regardless of activity, and tying her floppy hands to his jawline, he sank their parting coldness into his own bereaved chest, thumping away, palpitation after palpitation. And yet, the permutation of her touch resulted in an expression of calm, a shiver deprived of joy and hope, but one actively participating in love. It was love belonging to survival mode, and at the flick of a switch, he steered her to sleep. The prospect of an outspoken declaration of separating, all of a sudden, disappeared; no longer held any force. 

But it was feigned. She had been an even worse liar. She awoke and cried over his shoulder, ‘I love you,’ then hesitating, either out of pleasure or pain, it was difficult to tell in cataclysmic emotional moments, spoke with more authority, ‘But I am leaving. I can stay with my sister… don’t hold on to me.’ 

He looked at her from the outside, like another man looking in, searching for the truth, of the meaning to his entire life. Who was she really – was she who she said she was, and who was he? Stupid ignorant thoughts questioned his intellect, except for the safety in knowledge that she was a beautiful woman. He felt like a terrible sinner – they had both been lying to each other for two whole years about their virtues; it seemed that nobody really cared, otherwise it wouldn’t come to an end; is vice not reserved for those who give in under pressure, or temptation, or the fault of love? 

A cannonball shot into his stomach. He wanted to leave her too. A force overcame him so possessive in nature that it pertained to a celestial order of interference. Grace was his only hope in battle, as in pain he could find no channel of firm thought, all possible decisions, future, past, and present, were blurred; smeared memories. She felt the same way, as in pain she shook, trembling with fear – out of control. Her look inward was so eternally troubled, lit by a woodland of despair and nature in decay, that he suddenly felt relieved to let her go, becoming the monster he never wished to be: an exact imitation of her. 

Once the parting was complete, they both knew that love would still be aflame, that somewhere she would still love him, and he would still love her, and that the pain, forever intertwined in their togetherness, joined at the hip and blemished in nature, in her stars above and below, would never cease to be waiting in tow; on hold for love’s return, and the promise of hope wherever it – love – may still be concerned. 

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What story would you tell?

What story would you tell?

 

If you were alive in seven-hundred years time?

If you were a squire in the Middle Ages of European history?

If you were a Devil living in the Underworld?

If you were King of the Heavens?

 

What story would you tell?

If you worked in a pastry house

Beside the Arno river

Cooking sweet hot buns for tourists

And travelling all day long with your beloved?

 

What story would you tell?

If you worked for a mistress

Shopping her material culture

Clothed in copious pristine attire

Flirting with the Gentleman next door?

 

What story do you want to tell?

Because it is inspiring

Or close to home?

Because it is entertaining

Or like a dream

Forgotten and with no beginning?

 

What story would you tell

And to whom would it be most profound?

Climbing-Over the Ordinary

The transcendent surpasses the range of an ordinary human experience. For Aristotle, this meant beyond enumeration in his ten Categories of the kind of things higher than the physical and concrete world of objects, the subject of human propositions, contrary to the world existing apart from limitations of the material universe. Transcendent stems from the Latin verb transcendere, ‘climbing-over’, which can be interpreted from late Middle English as a leaping-over, into the imagination; knowing something from the inside-out. Once one has climbed, then a slight notion of the truth is revealed, or grasped – nearly all philosophers have spoken at some length on the subject; Kant termed it ‘realisation’, Burke thought of it as relating to the ‘sublime’, and so on.     

Jordan Peterson, the recent Canadian scholar making public rounds, has spoken of the transcendent as that which is richer than our apprehension, and is therefore a reality outside of our perceptions and memory. A somewhat Aristotelian approach, this suggests that the human being is in a state of ignorance and can only transcend once they realise this error of ourselves. In other words, the reality on the other side is more real than the reality we perceive. This has other-worldly connotations with exciting possibilities: the chance of a glorious Kingdom beyond the senses, behind the veil, above the clouds; wherever we immediately are not, as limited by our physical appearances. C.S. Lewis said something similar of ‘Nature’ when he suggested that ‘we are summoned to pass in through Nature, beyond her, into that splendour which she fitfully reflects.’ This ‘splendour’ beyond is something that we all desire, and, according to Lewis, it is very familiar to anyone who has come close to a transcendental experience, or the Christian faith.

What are some of the ways to get there? Peterson pleads with his students to appreciate art, literature, and music, with an unprecedented love; to restore their faith in the transcendental properties of beauty within the arts. He suggests that one can start out with the small things in life, for example, by hanging a favourite painting on their bedroom wall, therefore finding reconciliation within beautiful surroundings, and, as a result (presumably from feeling good), being more open and able to love thy neighbour, and so on, until he talks about forgiveness, and ultimately, the virtues bestowed upon us by Jesus Christ. Increasingly, the transcendental becomes a Christian theology, communicating something to us from beyond, transcribing the life of all Souls, whom are belonging to God. If you transcend, for example with Nature, then your soul opens up to the universe and God’s creation, leading to an experience of praise and gratitude. The world, or God, addresses you, and ceases to be a mere accumulation of facts. 

Gifted authors offer us a glimpse at this. If you have read great fiction, then you know that it can become very real indeed. The fictional character of interest becomes a composite of many people that you somehow already know; things described are those belonging to a common humanity, and once you place yourself in their position, be it the prosecutor or the accused, or both, then you actively begin to participate in the event: the suffering, the redemption, the love, the trials and tribulations, and so on. The key to the what might be termed a transcendental experience here, is the reader ‘living’ as ‘another’ and not as a ‘self’. This acceptance in the direction of a story being told, if it is told well, teaches us, the reader (or the audience of a good film or a stage-play), to love. It celebrates in us the acceptance, and the triumph, of whatever morality act has been staged – all the great works of literature have thankfully been love defeating negativity, or good over evil, virtue against vice, and so on, therefore according to Gospel wisdom.

Perhaps then, the transcendental mode of being is that which chiefly involves love; a strong desire to willingly participate in what you have loved (in the humanities and Nature), and repeatedly to do so, until it turns inside-out; until one climbs-over the imagination into an interpersonal relationship with love, or, as I like to experience it, with God.