Valentine’s Leap

IndyfootHow do you express love?

First, you have to understand what love is. Love is seeing a person as they are. Labels are burned like the mental chaff they are. Thoughts go from waves to ripples to a perfectly still reflecting pool. Hovering over the pool is a perfect, unquenchable fire.

It is you. It is the other. It is one.

Old love can be cozy, it can be predictable, but I think the key to deep love is the capacity to surprise. We should cherish every time our beloved surprises us.

Humans can be conditioned, genetically programmed, but at our core is freedom of choice. I have choice. My beloved has choice. Agency means that at the core of every person is something that’s utterly unknowable*. Every time they surprise us, then, it’s one more layer of unknowability peeled back. It’s one more petal of the beautiful flower in bloom.

As tempting as it is, I don’t want to make any comment on Valentine’s Day consumerism, anti-consumerism, or the relative merits of each. What I want to do is meditate, still myself, and reflect on the fact that my beloved has at her core something that is utterly unknowable. A mystery that’s perpetually unfolding but can never exhaust itself. Between us is a chasm, an abyss.

Love is the leap of faith across that abyss.

Rejoice in the unknown mystery.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

*For the more scholarly among us, I have in mind something akin to Pseudo-Dionysius’ idea, in The Divine Names, that God is hyperousios, beyond-being.

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