Love is one of the most meaningful words. It can mean Paradise on Earth, or a living Hell. And it is true, love ranges between both, but with different timing. Its essences never overlap.
The most tragic moment in a lifetime is the death of love. No other loss can beat it; not even that of a friend or a family member. When someone dies, deep behind the shock and sadness you may feel, you have the certainty that he or she went somewhere else, for either better, or for worse, in which case you might not be feeling so bad about it. However, when love dies, it simply fades away, and you’re left wondering of its whereabouts and wandering alone in the labyrinth of life. You can only hope that it’s an endless cycle, one that never repeats itself in the same way, but that you enjoy exactly like the last time it happened. You expect love to be back further on your path. Stopping would mean to notice your own loneliness—a frightening discovery. Humans need company not to stall or get fatally lost in this journey of life.
Love is actually all around in the world. After all, it’s the ultimate human capacity and expression. Whenever someone makes you feel good about yourself, simply because he or she exists, friend or relative, love is there. In every relation, love is involved, either with its presence or absence. “Love moves the whole Universe”, said Dante while roaming through Hell and Heaven.
People tend to confuse love with romance, without realizing that the latter is just a fancy effect of the first. Romance is the part of love about flowers, token gifts and other similar corny things. It’s the superficial masquerade of something deeper, if you look closer into the details. People don’t have the time nowadays to allow themselves a little of the magic of romance. Those who do can be called heroes. Romance has become almost extinct. Many admire romance but few try to catch it, since it is a vogue of the past. It has been long gone with the wind, along with Clark Gable’s phrase “I don’t give a damn”.
Nonetheless of its beauty, love is a double-edged blade, dangerous to toy with. It can make you fly up high in the sky, thanks to Cupid who lends you his wings. But these can melt just like Icarus’. That’s when love starts to hurt, when you feel your guts wanting to burst out in the vertigo of the free fall, knowing that you will shatter against the ground. Just like parachuting or bungee jumping, you need to be a little crazy and a little more foolish in order to dare take the risk of betting it all in one leap of faith, just trusting in the destiny, in spite of the high stakes.
It’s almost an impossible task to define love. This feeling, sentiment, emotion, drive, electric pulse, heart beat, or however you may call it, is something beyond the physical connection of sex and the tenderness of kissing and cuddling, without getting wrongly spiritually idealistic. When you idealize love, you’re making yourself taint a mirage. There is no illusion. Love is real. You feel love in the inside and the outside, while awake and in your dreams. You don’t only feel better; it pushes you to strive to be better. It can best be described as the vital inspiration that ignites passion in your soul, giving a true meaning to your existence. Everyone lives it up differently, but with the same special excitement. That is why the ancient Greeks used to remark about anyone’s life: “Was there passion?” After all, the closest definition of love could be the simplest and silliest of them all, one that a really good friend of mine told me: “About love, you just know”.
Tampico, Mexico. 2006.