Horizon at Sandy Point

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Love, anytime and anyplace

We learn love in many ways. As a child, upon the breast of the mother, cradled in sheltering arms of any adult, through what may be given or removed to keep us safe. At different ages, we learn what it is to receive love; and then what it is to give. Love fulfilled occurs when the lover and the beloved become one, aligned in outlook and purpose. You can think of this love as between two persons. In the widest context, the happy individual is in perfect harmony with his or her world.  Love and happiness are closely aligned, but not necessarily entwined.

Our understanding of love also goes through stages, phases and revelations. I think it might be a stretch of imagination for a young mind to perceive the profound beauty of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "Love in the Time of Cholera." For one thing it may be difficult to enter a book about love where the first event is a death. I am not sorry to be reading this amazing book later rather than early in life.

The infatuations of youth are familiar. The comfortableness of a suitable marriage, a well-regulated household and ordered life resonate well with couples who seek security, status and upward mobility in their lives. Everyone who has passed puberty understands the flaming passion of first kiss, the knot in the belly of sexual attraction, the yearning when apart, the thoughts and dreams of the beloved.

Later on, there emerges love that is patient, constant and - an old fashioned term - abiding.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez explores love in all its forms. The perversions of carnal encounters are also a form of love. Such fleshly distractions, friendships and interest in the world can help focus the mind to the ideal of abiding love.

Love in the time of cholera is the love that survives through a lifetime. It is constant in lives separated by careers, riches, success, and loss. It lives under a flag of its own, against the vagaries and differences of society and norms, against the odds. And, finally, it comes to this. So beautifully and lovingly articulated: two souls together. This paragraph is the crux of the book. But as you read, there will be many other paragraphs that remind us of the nature of love.

"They were together in silence like an old married couple wary of life, beyond the pitfalls of passion, beyond the brutal mockery of hope and the phantoms of disillusion: beyond love. For they had lived together long enough to know that love was always love, anytime and anyplace, but it was more solid the closer it came to death." - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

1 comment:

  1. Why did you go and write that? Now I'll have to read Marquez all over again!