Love, a Slippery Wisdom

When I’m writing, my head is often sparring with my heart; and what I try to do is allow beauty and creative truths to win these words over. I try to write with a sense of imagery and rhythm, but find that the beauty I’m often after in my writings are not always festive declarations searing from the seams of our hearts in bliss. I write about love that is active and ever working…working hard in and through unpredictable life.

I am curious about love in all its slippery wisdom, it’s capability to transform someone’s life and its ability to attempt ruin. Love is this abstract truth and contradiction that eludes my humble words and lines every time. But I keep chasing after it, kind of like those of us in love who keep loving even when we wonder where that love has gone (some days), or why it changed suddenly (other days), and why it feels just perfect (still other days). That is the beauty and truth of love; it rises and falls, and is the greatest rhythm I’ve ever known, and I suppose I will look for it with my words (and heart) forever.

Below is a passage by British novelist Louis De Bernieres, author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin:

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are.

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two. – Louis De Bernieres


  1. I’ve never read the quote by Louis De Berniere, but he and I have much in common with using trees as a metaphor for love. Love is two individual trees that decide to move closer. They intertwine most of their tap roots together drawing water from the same source. Their life essence is shared, their survival co-dependent. And yet the branches of the trees extend as they grow, reach toward the skies with their hopes, desires, dreams. Some of these branches too entangle and play together as the two trees and their aspirations merge together; other branches reach toward individual experiences, goals, and hopes that reach toward the sun apart and separate from the other tree. So the trees both grow together, share the same source of life together, flutter in the breeze during play, endure the storm by bending – not breaking. But both trees also grow in their own independent way, without obstructing the other, giving the other freedom to express in ways independent – and yet always simultaneously merged – to the love of their union, their co-dependency, their symbiosis, their future. Love becomes two individual trees with their own selves in tact, and yet paradoxically they’re also two trees fused into one with their partnership retained and their future crystallizing by both individual and team actions.

    1. That is such a remarkable notion Aaron. And the metaphor of the tree is ever growing and breathing. It is uniquely natural and such an accessible and present image. Thank you for sharing this, I will think about what you have said, it is beautiful and inspiring.

  2. beautiful.

    as the product of many many divorces (mom married 3 times, dad married 4), i often think of what love means, how it works in a marriage, etc. the quote at the end is truthful. I prefer the content parts above the fireworks, butterflies, and unicorns :) that is honest and pure.

    1. Thank you for sharing what is deeply personal to you Jessica–this is often why I write because the sharing is so sincere and honest–I love it. And like you, I have watched the love before me (around me) build and crumble and sometimes build again, or sometimes just end in silence. It is such a fascination and at times a fear. We jump in this wild ride of love and it just takes us to this unknown place that is constantly changing, evolving. It is exhilarating, and often full of so many contradictions. Sometimes I think about love and feel lost in the depth. I write about it constantly because I think about it constantly. I think you are right to continue to pursue all that is honest and pure, the “content” is the warm medium, a comfort that sticks to our hearts and clings on like no firework ever will. That’s good stuff!

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