Romantic fairy tales always end with, “And they lived happily thereafter.” These yarns terminate this way for a simple reason: when a man and a woman fall in love, the story is over. Consequently, all of our love stories are about finding love and losing love. Being in love, it seems, does not a good story make.
This curiosity is the result of the both the nature of love and the nature of story. A story is the meaning of experience rendered in experience. To be a good story, the tale must have two additional ingredients: the meaning revealed must be of interest and the rendering must be dramatic. Our concept of drama centers on conflict because we believe that the profound character of human being is in highest relief when engaging strife. Our ideas about story make it impossible to render the essence of boredom in a boring manner. That would fail the story test.
When we combine our notions of love with our perception of story, it becomes impossible to write a love story that is about being in love. We believe that love conquers all and that love raises our being to a higher plane. Thus, conflict in love is impossible therefore being in love cannot be dramatic and, sadly, cannot become story.
The foregoing is not mere sophistry: we sincerely believe that love is so precious that the quest to find it is inherently compelling and the loss of it is utterly devastating. The majority of our cultural expressions embody either the urgent pursuit of love or the bitter death of love. We do not write stories about being in love. If Adam and Eve were destined to stay in Eden, the Bible would be three pages long: boy meets girl; boy and girl fall in love; boy and girl live happily ever after.
We cannot write stories about being in love because love conquers all. We celebrate being in love and that is why the cultural expression for being in love is not story, it is poetry. Poetry is the truth of being rendered in perceptions of being. It does not require drama, which in turn requires conflict, rather, it requires insight.
When a man falls in love with a woman, he does not write her a love story, he writes her a love poem. His heart has just been freed from conflict so there is no story in him. Her beauty, her grace, her mystique, her allure, her enchantment, fill him with celebration because he has transcended all things that are not love. A man who has found the woman he loves will be bursting with joy—and if you can get anything out of him that is not nonsense, it will be love poetry.
I hope that one day soon, I will again be filled with delicious ridiculousness. I hope my brain boils with such elation that I become positively stupid. I pray that, in a day not far away, I will again soar above story and my spirit will sail on a swift stream through cerulean skies because, more precious and sacred than all else, my hear is joined to her heart. In rejoicing, the entire universe will ring with golden sounds heralding the being of love between us, forever.
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