100 word challenge: Tell me of the nature of love

Rules: 100 words or less, otherwise anything goes.

you can message me, then I'll send you my e-mail. Include your mailing address. I will put it on my homenode if you want, otherwise I will keep them quiet. published ones will be in a book, handbound by me, sent to all contributing authors.

bewilderbeast
"Love, the way-weary" - T.E. Lawrence

Love is the realisation that something apart from oneself exists. That is why it is called 'real', or why it can be rekindled in a moment when you see or hear from a past flame again. In an instant, just when you thought it was gone. Why love can be selfless, why you're afraid every time it leaves, why it hurts every time it comes back -- every time it becomes real again. Why it can tear your world apart; because it really is the world, if you care to let it be.



Andromache01
Honey, sickening-sweet, dripping down your throat.
A strike of lightning. Shuddering in atavistic pleasure. A tender hand stoking the small of your back. Fingers twined through your hair, pulling you in close for a kiss.
Chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven.
Warmth at your back in the heart of winter. A smile that sets your heart alight.
Hours lost in conversation, sitting in front of a roaring fire.
The taste of tonic, bitter but strangely quenching.
A broken picture frame. A torn letter. Fingertips gliding over your skin for the last time. A sad smile as you walk away.


69lovesongs For grundoon, Tell me the nature of love

I’m learning that Love is a word used too often and not enough, not like in the movies, isn’t always happy endings, too often absent where it should be but present where you least expect it, completely unfathomable and wonderful because of it. That love can make you hate, but will last much, much longer, when the hate fades away the love will still be there all bittersweet. That it too often remains unsaid. That it fuels everything worth anything, is our one redeeming attribute, that I know nothing about it really, that I’ll keep looking everywhere for it.


MedicineKeeper
The nature of love? It's love when words aren't needed at all. It needs nothing. Sight, voice, touch, even presence - it doesn't matter how much is taken away, she's still there, in those parts of me that can't be taken away. That scares me, in the way only those creatures with secrets can be scared. A part that can't be taken away can't be shed, either. Love is something still human enough to fail. My only hope - the very final one left standing - is that there's still something more than human in it, something strong enough for our sanctuaries.


Chiisuta The smell of green, towering pines on beds of dead needles, eating a daffodil when I was four, twenty-four years after being born I can't get over the sounds of water splashing on algae-covered rocks, real swimming holes in Vermont, camping in the Catskills in winter with a powdered sugar dusting and the shining eyes of dear, bear tracks and bald eagles, salamander in a empty cigarette box, chasing rabbits, wildflowers in my hair, so many stars it hurts your eyes to count them, splashing, finding bones and nests and holes, hiking, shoes off, warm rocks and that's not all.

Chiisuta said FOOLED YOU BABY, BECAUSE THAT'S THE LOVE OF NATURE! HA!

But indeed, I did not specify what kind of love. Nature of love, love of nature. Nature of love, love nature, LIAR But I'll publish a second shot, if you want to take it.


Chiisuta says
Love is sharing everything, even bad stuff. It's knowing what their hand gestures mean. It's giving them the last cookie and they give it back. It's not caring about boogers or sweat or `did I shave?' Love is never being able to stay up through a movie because their heartbeat is like home. It's making someone feel good because it makes you feel good. It's putting a good face on things. Love tries really hard not to be mean. It's about making a good team. To keep love, remember it's not just something you're in, but something you do.


Lometa says:
On the nature of love
    Honor will not deny the nature of love
    if the reins of abstinence check it,
    if it doesn't go astray of dogged boundaries;
    its heat rage to too great a degree.

    If its flicker spurts into flame;
    its little spring mounts to a flood,
    rankness demands the pruning-knife,
    for glut disturbs self-possession.

    Scents, strokes, snatches of songs
    brush us, overtake us,
    give blissful surprise;
    a conviction that a lifetime's delight
    will emerge at any moment—
    with a smile upon its lips.

    If we remember not the slightest folly
    that ever love did make us run into,
    we have not loved.



Cletus the foetus
Minimus (121 words)

It is possible to rid ourselves of Love in two ways, either by knowledge of a better thing, or by finding that the thing we have loved ... brings much misery with it.

But Love is also such that we never strive to free ourselves of it....

It is impossible because it does not depend on us, but only on the good or advantage we find in the object. If we did not want to love it, it would be necessary for us not to have known it before....

So it is necessary that we not be free of it, because ... we could not exist if we did not enjoy something to which we were united, and by which we were strengthened.

Benedictus de Spinoza. "Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being". The Collected Works of Spinoza. Trans. Edwin Curley. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985. pp 104-105.

etouffee
Love is a change in the weather
swirling breeze that turns your head around
cold to hot
back again

Love is the sweetest of paradoxes
You can think of thousands of reasons not to fall
but can focus on nothing else

Anguished, yes
overjoyed, of course
teary eyed and breathless
always
Love sick - the ultimate example of redundancy


no_one

I can't get enough of...

one-track mind
falling fast until realising -- why not fly?

only you are so...

shades of early dawn felt but unseen
expanding to fill the whole sky

crystal remembrance of you and everything about...

gazing at you until you ask why I stare
-- but I am still lost in you and can't explain that...

I want to ask you -- to say -- that I...

my heart flutters it's so hard because what if ...?
I'm not really courageous enough for this

and somehow I can never quite find the words to tell you just how much...



LaggedyAnne
Love is pacing yourself through giant hallways, staying a step back, patiently waiting your turn when all you want to do is race forward and be there first. Love is the unmistakable urge to sing, to dance, to express every sentiment of joy the universe has ever known. Love is the impetuous fleeting to do these things, but somehow finding the courage to keep them to yourself until the moment is right. Love is a gentle sigh that no one else will ever hear, your arms wrapping around something--anything--to ease your ache, tears just behind your eyes, waiting.


HenryBok
The two edged sword fleeting, cruel and painful or life altering with depth and serene warmth that defies explanation. It is the bond of parent and child, the dizzying heights of romance, it is fifty years of devotion and gentle caresses. It is the heady heighten depth of feeling with an undercurrent of fear, it is raw and primal. A bittersweet irony of desire and need causing some to chase the elusive emotion to the detriment of their self and others find a rock that holds them close in the storm of life. It cuts and heals, the two edged sword.

crewgrrl
“When I met you…thunderbolts baby” – Aharon Charnov

The nature of love cannot be quantified. Some say that you can only understand love when you have been there yourself. Others stipulate that love must have hurt you in some manner. I say that the nature of love is simply this - when the well being of the one you're with is more important than your own, when their happiness is more crucial than yours, when you cannot imagine your life without that person - that is love.


Lord of Nothings says
Love is when one person is the answer to all your questions about yourself. You are whole in yourself, but you know you are whole because there is this other, and when you think of her you think "oh, okay, it all makes sense now". Its very simple, and very free. It is like a perfect religious revelation, only revelation deals with the truth of the universe and love deals with the truth of one's self.


Demeter
Love wakes soft on Sunday mornings, warm like sunlight through curtains, relaxed and playful.
On Monday, it goes conscientiously to work, although it aches for home.
Tuesday, it is patient with bad humour and burnt supper, and stern with a recalcitrant child.
On Wednesday, exhausted, love sits back quietly, and Thursday, revitalised, it battles against the enemy who made its goddess cry.
On Friday love is hopeful, and pride swells, as it reads a report card.
And Saturday night, dancing and drunken, it falls passionately into bed, greedy, needy - then sleeps happily replete.
Love wakes soft on Sunday mornings.


Bluedragon

When love comes knocking she comes in disguise. She wraps herself in a cloak of joy and perhaps passion and desire. She looks at you with a total absorption, a look that excludes all else. She is the lightning bolt when you touch. She is the flutter and the ache in your heart, the longing.

But her true name is Sacrifice. And whatever the nature of your love, she may drop her disguise at any time and demand this of you.

This is the price of love. If you can answer the call, then you know your love is true.


DejaMorgana

A vision that shatters your life. Someone new and beautiful, utterly unlike anyone else that ever lived. Watching, wanting, waiting dry-mouthed.

First steps, first words, first dance, first kiss, first flight. Fondest hopes and worst memories shared. Bodies exposed, imperfections found and cherished.

Arrhythmia. Agony. I'm not me anymore lost not good enough please don't leave me where the hell did I go?

Nesting. Finding a spot, picking out curtains. Realising that this is not my house, not your house, but our house. Our future, our home, our fireplace, our garden, our children. Together forever, comfortably interlocked. In love.


Yermo

Love is not a poem, love is not a simile. Perhaps a metaphor, though for some, "love" is a four-letter word. They avoid that L-word, using every other synonym in the book, though none really mean quite the same. In English, "love" means much more than it might in other languages. We can love a good book, love another person, or love a good fuck, and yet, we use the same word. But I digress. This is not the nature of love, merely what it is, or is not. The nature of love is selfishness. When you fall in love with someone, you must be with them. When apart, you miss them, and when you are together, that need is fulfilled. Love doesn't take rejection well. People will lose many good friends over someone they love. People will kill to have their love, the rest of the world be damned. Love is so selfish that it ignores all else. Unrequited love is the most difficult thing overcome, above greed and lust. There is no "cold shower" for love.

The nature of love is selflessness. When you fall in love with someone, you will do anything for them. You'll wake up early in the morning to make them breakfast in bed. You'll buy them flowers, and wait patiently for them. You'll do whatever you can to make them happy, without expecting anything in return. People will give up friends and jobs for their love. They'll move across the country for love. Those things people won't do for any amount of money, they might just do for love.

Selfishness: 89 words, Selflessness 98 words Things are more than just their nature. People tend to nurture their love as well.


Moubi
Love is scary
Love is a pit opening in my heart
begging to be fed
Love is agonizing about someone I've never seen
Love is uninvited daydreams of strange fingers in my hair
Love is inappropriate
Love didn't ask my permission
Love took me to the highest peak
and pushed me off.
Love was supposed to play nice.
Love lied.


bihshtah

Love is indefinable as text.
What can we quantify? Floating, wrapped in a warm blanket made up of smells of the person I love, delicate episodic memory, which sea-changes when disturbed. I leave it alone. Disjointed moments. My beloved hanging over a railing, smiling. My beloved on a bridge, behind her a river wreathed in fog. Around her, the scenery, my emotions are graphed against, empathy a blazing quotient in dangerous overload-red. I wonder, sitting on a train moving through dark, whether love is in these frames of memory, elegance in them an aesthetic of need. The statue of liberty, perhaps, in the dying mind of a faceless soldier on a battlefield. My beloved on a bridge, quirked smile, light eyes. Love is many places. Many things.


iceowl
so we started, you and i,
rainsoaked monday mornings the car won't start, headaches in the dark, curious hands, forgotten appointments and birthdays spent at the office late, burned coffee and upturned spaghetti bowls, sunburned shoulders and sand so hot we had to run to keep our feet from blistering, non-returnable Christmas gifts, pennies spent with grape-smeared fingers, tiny smiles and popcorn in bed, grand slam breakfasts and puke-stained wet wipes, waiting rooms and fevers, graduations and championships, the voices that surround us now,
the warmth and faces
where once in dark alone
lay you and i


AnBolb

Love is a chemical reaction in the limbic system, an increase of dopamine and norepinephrine present in the brain. Serotonin levels increase and oxytocin, a hormone associated with orgasm, is also present. Love feels good, just like masturbation.
Love is inevitable, depressingly predictable. Everyone's neurochemicals are the same. It spreads its roots into all things and shapes the path of the world. Love survives death and pulls through every fibre of the universe, making and breaking human beings as it fuels every moment of life, the sad and ecstatic haze in everyone's background. It can never die, it spans forever because it has to, branching unrequited and unbound, immortal and undead. Love is a nightmare.


Simulacron3

To point to love is to diminish it. If asked to point to the universe, what would you do? To list instances of love to build up its shape is futile. How many stars would it take to show you what the universe looks like? Love is nothing, because it is everything and it is nowhere because it is everywhere. Do you think you feel love? Do you think you have it or have had it? Do you think you have lost it? You are completely wrong. You have but viewed a few of the stars. It takes all of mankind to experience love entirely.
izubachi
Glasshouse. Stonehome.

When sometimes he, this he, only he, might be of the same mind, heart. Sometimes.

Buddha, Jesus, Jizo, Muhammad, Vishnu. The gods and the demons. Their smiles and tears.

Your loose bangs of hair and that hungry grin, your secure hands, your warmth-bare skin, your damp silk lips, growls and hums and sighs like human. So human.

Yes we can sit down, now, look each other in the eyes, with open body language, full attention, and work something out. We can. We must.

Because I am better through you. You are better through me.

Memento mori. Carpe diem.


Boi_toi

Love is a self-abusive war of the human subject against the human animal: the battle against a lifetime of mildly but genuinely happy acceptance of the dull present and the nauseatingly inevitable future.
Love is an assault on the ability to produce, framed in terms of the ultimate human productivity - a perversion of creative impulses into a tiring and feverish output. This firehose of emotion is cruelly misdirected at another intelligent being who wants nothing more than to either inflict the same punishment on a counterpart or flee in terror.

One formulation of the lie of Meaning.


HenryBok

She is a harsh mistress. She is times of sheer heart bursting joy, comforting and unbounding happiness as you become a part of another's soul. Within the mistress's gentle velvet glove is concealed a twisted claw. Ready to tear your connection asunder and toss you into a whirlpool of sickening dark and despair, the emptiness within trickling out to taint those around you. Your being becomes consumed with your loss and you search for many things to fill the loneliness that weighs like lead in your heart. She is a harsh mistress that leaves bitter and twisted wrecks in her wake.
This is dedicated to all those who have loved and lost recently. I realise it is bitter but love is a two sided coin, joy and saddeness.


Heppigirl

Seeing forever in the blue of your eyes.
Trust and adoration and truth and amazement.
Handfasting and vows, humbleness and promises kept.
A song, a landscape, a memory, a smell.
The dissolving of walls and distance and hurt.
The merging of two bodies, souls, individuals into joy and passion and challenges and hope.
Nurturing, sustaining, teaching and caring.
Aching, needing, touching and craving.
Sharing ideas and worries and families and everyday life.
A journey, a future, a lifetime of together.
Of finding home in the heart of another.
Clarity not tinted by rose.


LeoDV
Whoever described love as a rollercoaster was on to something. You're thrust around, you can't think. It's a heightened sensory state, like your epidermis was scratched off, a simple brush becomes the greatest pain you can feel or the greatest feeling you can feel.
Love is an idea
Love is what you call everything you've ever wanted : the warmth of a mother, the strength of a father, the understanding of a friend, the intimacy of a lover, the mutual gift of each other. It's the only human universal : the fact that we fundamentally lack something and the quest for someone who will give you that something, and to whom you will give his or her something. Not give back but give, in selfless abandon. The idea that you can be complete.


TheLady

A beast too large for a single cage, love can only exist in the two. It is not the narcissistic infatuation of youth, with its pretensions at suffering. It is not the verbose unrequited passion of the self centred poet, the self destructive obsession of the pubescent girl.
The ultimate leveller, love does not follow those hungry for power. The violent jostler for position, the so called lover of children, the cruel, the insecure, the needy; they are not lovers but addicts.
The ultimate homecoming, love settles into its double nest, sedate but instantaneous, and cannot thereafter be sundered.


LeoDV

Love is a high

Whoever described love as a rollercoaster was on to something. You're thrust around, you can't think. It's a heightened sensory state, like your epidermis was scratched off, a simple brush becomes the greatest pain you can feel or the greatest feeling you can feel.

Love is an idea
Love is what you call everything you've ever wanted : the warmth of a mother, the strength of a father, the understanding of a friend, the intimacy of a lover, the mutual gift of each other. It's the only human universal : the fact that we fundamentally lack something and the quest for someone who will give you that something, and to whom you will give his or her something. Not give back but give, in selfless abandon. The idea that you can be

complete.



Uberbanana
No one can write about love until they know it. It is that one part of life that can be reached with another. It is the place that only a few people share. This place will scare you, strengthen you, protect you, and even kill you. You can hear the voice of their heart. You give them part of yours. It opens a door that can’t be closed again. No matter what happens, or how far you are, that part of you is part of them. And you will feel it everyday until your end. It is the light that guides you, pulling you back to the home you made.





OckerJoe
Clouds. If one wants to know the nature of love, one should look to clouds. There are many kinds of clouds and they are omnipresent, they are everywhere. And if they aren't around now, some will come shortly. When we stop to admire them, which is not says often, we are awestruck by their beauty, their calmness, their ferocity, their ever changing nature, their ability to invoke our imaginations, each one is special and each on is temporal, but they are magical, supernatural. And when we are in a cloud, when we can taste it, it is no longer a cloud.



SharQ My love is like feeling I'm missing her, even when she's there. I am holding her hand, and yet I miss her. She's not part of me, so I feel broken. Even when locked in sweaty embraces of nudeness and passion, I miss her. No matter what I do, I cannot get close enough. The pain of solitude. But the pain is sweet, and serves as a constant reminder.

And here's mine, exactly 100 words, trying to express 3 seconds.

You. You are the very nature and essence of love.
You are my heartbeat accelerating, my startled waking,
because you are not there next to me; my fear, my moment, my indrawn breath of ecstasy. You
are my text, my rest, the only book I want to read, the only music I want to hear. You are distraction in my eyes, the half smile on my face, the hair on my skin rising,
my cheeks flushing, my lips opening.
You are the fear of the moment, and the hope of the future.
For some stories there are no words.
Longing.
You.


Start Again

Back


"Shepherd,
Why do you need to confirm what you already know?
Ask instead why they do not ask the questions that occur to them.
Wonder why they so easily abandon those they love.
Ask what kind of love this is,
Which requires they forsake each other
In order to embrace another."

In a town like any other there came to live a man. He was a good man who worked hard and did all that was required of him. He came to love a woman with all his heart and they were married, but several years after their wedding she was taken by death. He mourned her for many years, living in almost complete solitude, struggling to understand why she had been taken from him so soon. He closed himself off to the world, insulated himself against the idea that he could love again, and later died alone and in misery.

In the same town there was another man. This man was also a very good man and he too lost his wife while he was still young. Not long after her death, he met another woman who comforted him in his mourning and restored not only love in his heart but also helped him to believe in himself and the world as he had when his wife was alive. They found happiness together, started a family and grew old together in a place they built and cherished.

These two men happened to be brothers. The first looked down upon the second, strong in his belief that in taking a second wife he had dishonored the first. The second felt pity for the first, wanting very badly for him to in some way find happiness and peace in his life as he had.

Depending on your personal beliefs, you may see the path of one of the brothers as right and the other as wrong. You may feel driven to judgment, but is one brother right and the other wrong? In the modern world, more people would support and embrace the second brother and feel sorry for the first. In another era, that would be reversed.

There is a certain mindset that sees the second brother as forsaking his first wife in favor of the second, but has he really? Here we must ask ourselves a difficult question. What is the most important element of love? Is it the desire to see those we love find happiness and peace or is it an eternal commitment of loyalty.

Perhaps it is both and this is where we lose our way.

I have seen what happens when two people bound by love enter into a commitment that joins them "until death do we part." Sometimes they leap into this commitment before they know and before they understand. Sometimes the nature of that love and their shared connection changes because love is evolutionary. In the fast moving modern world, things change more often than they stay the same.

Is there a benefit to two people remaining locked into a lifelong contract at the expense of sacrificing what initially brought them together? This is a question I often ask when I see a married couple that has grown to resent and even hate each other. They sometimes remain together, slowly killing the love that brought them together, because they believe the commitment they made is more important than love itself.

I believe that love, which grants us the power to give everything you can to everyone you know, is more important than any of the trappings that surround it. Yet we impose limits upon love, just as we impose limits on forgiveness, acceptance and patience. We place these artificial limits because of what we have learned and what we have been taught is true and right.

The decisions I make in life are based on a vow I took some years ago to never turn my back on anyone I love or to deny anyone what I can freely give. I do not believe that any ceremony, sacrament or rite can trump love itself. At the same time, it is important to understand the evolutionary nature of love and how it manifests itself in different ways. This is why I believe I was sent to Orlando in order to face the riddle of the three queens.

I was presented with three women, all of whom I came to love very deeply for different reasons. Each of them was unique and brought something to me that I needed. The mistake I made was in believing that I needed to make a choice. One of them was the reason why I was in Orlando. One of them was the answer to the riddle. As I put my energy into one, I closed the other two out. This confused matters and made the answer unclear. Each of the queens, in her own way, wanted to be the reason I was there and wanted me to answer the emptiness they had inside, and each of them came to believe they were not the reason I was there. What I failed to realize at the time was that it was not one of them. I was there for all three. We are trained to make choices and to see things as having simple, black and white answers, because we often come to believe one person holds the answer to what we seek and become disenchanted when we learn they do not.

I sensed that I had failed in my mission and that sense of failure was framed within a chain of events that brought me to rock bottom. I had moved away from home, to a city where I had no real foundation, in order to follow a vision and now I had failed.

Perception sometimes clouds the mind.

Failure is not failure if we learn something in the process. Without having stumbled we do not know what it means to stand and walk straight.

Not one of the Orlando queens was meant to spend her life as my life partner. They all had different roads to travel, and I already knew who my life partner was. Knowing this, I still attempted to change this because I was attached to a single interpretation of the riddle. If you deeply and truly love another person then you are supposed to seek a bond with them and forsake all others, right? I don’t believe that anymore.

I took a vow of marriage in the summer of 2001. This was done in the spirit of give everything you can to everyone you know. My wife was very young and overwhelmed by the difficulty she had in pursuing her dreams in a foreign country. I considered her to be very brave and very resolute. We needed each other very much, for different reasons, when we met and fell in love. She faced adversity and unkindness in her quest and had reached the point where she was considering giving up on her dreams and resigning herself to a life that would have left her very unhappy. I had the ability to change that, but to do so I had to marry her, otherwise she would have had to return to her country and her parents to live a traditional and restrictive life. This would have been too much for her to endure. It would have been the end of her dreams and if I could help her realize those dreams, in even the smallest way, I would do so.

It did not matter that this young woman from Costa Rica was here working full time while pursuing advanced education in her field because she could take it no further in her home country. It did not matter that she spoke three languages and was working very hard to become truly fluent in English. It only matter that she was married to an American citizen. If you want to talk about the sanctity of marriage I have a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in.

I love my wife very much, but after two very good years together, we drifted apart. We were too different and had different roads to travel, but in the interim we learned much from each other and had a positive effect on each other’s lives. We reached the point where staying together was no longer good for either of us. We began to argue about silly, meaningless things, grow irritated with each others’ presence and feel an overwhelming need to move on that only compounded the problems we had. If we had honored our marital vows and stayed together we would have grown to resent each other and would have suffocated the love between us. Instead, we parted, and since that time we have learned to appreciate and value that love far more than we did during our difficult final year together.

It is this puzzle that I often seek answers to. We hold ourselves to certain laws, certain standards and follow ritualized truths as if these worldly things were sacred. What is more important to preserve, the social construct of marriage or the love that exists between two people? For two souls to suffocate and grow bitter in order to honor a vow makes little sense to me when the option exists to keep the spirit connection alive by honoring each other’s needs. We are here to help each other and give each other all we can, and so I believe we must accept the changes within each other and move on rather than holding on tightly to that which has passed.

All too often I see people destroy each other. Why is it that people who once claimed to love and cherish each other turn against each other? My faith involves traveling the energy that begins at a source we often personify as God. We control the flow of that energy, and we affect the way it flows from us into others. If that energy begins as a positive and becomes strong, it invites equally strong flows of negative energy, the reduction energy of chaos. Sometimes the nature of powerful energy makes us feel vulnerable and exposed as it leads us to open ourselves and share ourselves with those we believe we can trust. That vulnerability impacts the soul dragon, the protector of our most fragile elements, and if we feel betrayed, dishonored or disappointed by those we have allowed access to, the dragon rises. We defend ourselves most rigorously against those we feel most threatened by. Those we feel most threatened by are those who know and understand our most vulnerable elements.

We tend to see things in black and white with "yes" or "no" answers. My marital vow involved saying that I would love and cherish the woman who became my wife for the rest of my life and I have not broken that vow. I believe I have kept the vow in a way others who feel commanded to remain together under the same roof while slowly and surely coming to resent each other do not. I once understood the need to either stay with someone or degrade them. It involves a simple means by which one can resolve their own turmoil and shine a light on their decisions as being the right ones. We highlight the weaknesses and the mistakes made by those we have parted ways with. This makes us feel better about the decision and the outcome because it is harder to explain that it was simply time for both partners to follow a different path. Shifting the blame to others is easier than admitting you failed, but the only failure comes from discarding and degrading those we have claimed to love.

I am often reminded of the story of Christina. She came into my life like a hurricane, igniting great passion between us, but that passion was short-lived. That passion created a deeper connection between us that had nothing to do with the desire it created. The passion drew us closer, much closer than we ever would have been without it, and we shared elements of ourselves we never shared with anyone else. Things changed, and the passion, which burned with a savage ferocity, began to smolder and drift into the ashes of memory. We each faced trials in our lives that made us unable to be there for each other. At first there was anger in the form of resentment. We who had become so close and so intimate could not help each other in our time of need. That resentment led to a parting, a parting resolved a year later when we saw each other again. We realized there was still love between us, even if the passion and the fire had gone. We realized we still meant a great deal to each other and it would be a waste of that passion if we did not allow it to foster a true friendship between us. The anger and the resentment were a negative reflection of the passion, which we both had wanted to maintain but could not, and like the passion it was something that had passed. If we had not come to realize this before she died two years later, everything we had between us would have been in vain.

Love your neighbor. Love your enemies. Deeds, not words. Never stop. Love remains long after all the trappings, garments and jewels you have dressed it in are being sold in the pawnshop at the end of time.

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