Disclosure: all is well with me. My life is fine. This is not about me, at least not now. I did not write the poem. Its attraction for me is that it abuts the paradoxical nature of love, as I see it. This post is not about anyone I know but relates to the yin and yang of human romance. I don’t know if the poem is intended to be about anyone. Although, it’s inevitable that some of us will see our own shadow somewhere in the poem. And this: I have experienced shingles even after having been inoculated against the infection, and I plan to take the new shots soon. A poem that compares love to that has my attention.
I’ve been working on two other somewhat unrelated essays on the paradox of love for a long time. For months, it has been slow going for several reasons. It’s not the writing. Getting a handle on some aspects of human nature has been a high bar for me. I may be a little reluctant to publish — not totally sure why. Furthermore, I am multi-interested, but when I try to multi-task, as we call it, I FUBAR, as we also call it.
Romance novels are big sellers, and maybe I’ll write one some day. For now, I want to write about the reality of why we are as we seem to be. Romance novels are works of fiction, but there is some reality-based reason we read them.
Why do we love when we know we shouldn’t? How can we love people who do not love back? Why does our greatest pleasure, love, hurt? Why continue loving when it hurts?
And what does sex have to do with it? Obviously, with some love it’s ruled out. In other cases, it is expected.
Then I saw this poem in The Sun magazine. Part of the paradox of love for me is the pain. The pleasure of romantic love defies description (doesn’t keep me from trying). But is it enough to endure the “love hurts” painful kind of situation? Do we love people and wish we didn’t? Conversely, are there people we don’t love, but wish we did?
I would say no, but I would be wrong. Love overpowers all forms of wisdom, logic, caution, safety, and potential for pain. We’d lie for love, we’d die for love. So many of us go into relationships having experienced the pain and suffering, and knowing what another relationship might bring. Some of us are in those painful relationships. That is what is so great about it.
When I read this poem, I thought she had nailed it. That poem reflects exactly what I am talking about when I try to put the paradox of love into an understandable and logical framework of words.
Due to copyright law, I cannot publish the poem here, but the magazine allows me to post a link to their web page.
Please click this link to the poem Loving You Burns Like the Shingles by Terri Kirby Erickson and read it for yourself at The Sun’s magazine website.
Note: The Sun allows you to view two articles per month without subscription. So, if you have already viewed two on their site, you may not be able to read the poem.
I’ve added a little youtube of the song, Love Hurts, by Nazareth. Sorry for the downer. We love to love, and love is not a downer.
Look both ways, to the past and toward the future.
But focus on the here and now. Mind gaps in everything.