Where there is love, there is life. ~ Mahatma Ghandi

A Sombre Valentine’s Day (Again)

“If there were no words, no way to speak,
I would still hear you,
If there were no tears, no way to feel inside,
I would still feel for you.”

From my deep slumber I woke up to the tune of this timeless classic by Martina McBride. My phone’s clock said the time is AM, FEBRUARY 14. Now I am not surprised by my wake up song. It is still dark outside but I find it difficult going back to sleep.

To kill the time, I turned on my laptop and before I know it, I started putting into words all my thoughts on numerous facets of love. It is Valentine’s Day after all. Just like an automaton, my hands wrote frantically until the wee hours of the morning while the song Valentine played on the background.

“And even if the sun refused to shine
Even if romance ran out of rhyme
You would still have my heart
Until the end of time
You’re all I need, my love, my Valentine.”

I can still remember the last time I fell in love. The first time I gazed into her eyes I was immediately struck by Cupid’s proverbial arrow. My entire world froze as I was captivated by her beauty. That moment, that very second when my heart suddenly started racing is forever embedded in the mind. I can’t help but smile when my memory plays trick on me and brings me back to that very same moment.

Unfortunately fate has already interceded even before our paths crossed. But I am just a sycophant, obsequious to the wishes of my heart. I was already cognizant of the absurdity of the circumstances I inevitably found myself in but I was too adamant. I know I’d hurt in the end but still I clung to that sliver of hope – that somehow we’d end up together. But alas, my prodding fell to deaf ears.

The rejection left a bitter aftertaste. I tried in vain to move on from that experience but I just kept coming back to the same moment, I kept asking myself when did every thing go awry, out of control, out of reach. It hurt more than anything in the world. The pain was too much that promised to myself never to fall in love again, to purge any traces of love in me. I made a fool of myself for naught. I will never let that happen again.

As the day draws to a close, many will find themselves alone, tears flowing profusely on their faces. They will bawl over lost chances, lost romances and painful encounters. It is supposed to be a day where love wins but that is not the case all the time because there are brokenhearted fools who are still mending their broken hearts and souls, torn between giving up and loving again.

At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet. ~ Plato

The World is Full of Brokenhearted Fools

Love is many splendid things they say.

I had a friend who also fell in love badly. It was the first time in years that he fell for someone. To him, she was the epitome of everything that he wants in a woman. He fell head over heels for her that he doted on her, taking her to movies, going out with her on dates and showering her with gifts. He was a man possessed by the powers of love.

But it wasn’t long before cold water was thrown into his face, lifting the spell that disillusioned him. No longer able to keep up the act, she told him everything. She admitted that she cannot reciprocate his feelings because she is in love with another man. No words can describe the disappointment on his face  when it started dawning on him that he was “used”.

“Darn, how foolish am I? I should have never let my emotions get the best of me,” he said to himself. To numb the pain, he drowned himself in alcohol, and some other less savory deviance. Fortunately, he was able to pick himself up in time before he got swallowed by the huge hole he dug for himself.

I have another friend who had a different experience. When she was younger, she fell for someone very atypical. Beyond the physical, she fell for his intelligence, wit and eloquence. Unfortunately, he treated her like a younger sister. Unperturbed,  she still yearned and hoped that one day he’d look at her and see a lover, not a sister. Ultimately, her heart grew weary of waiting but she remained loyal to her memories of him.

Then one day, he startled her with his confession of love. Taken aback, she didn’t immediately respond to his enthusiastic overture. Unfortunately, he took her delayed response as doubt, and ultimately, rejection. When she was finally able to process everything, his attention was already directed to someone else.

But these are just among the numerous love stories that were never meant to be. These stories truly captivated me because it shows that in each of us there is a brokenhearted fool. Yes, the world is full of brokenhearted fools!

Which reminds me of yet another friend I have who fell in love when she was younger and less wiser. She was smitten by a man, an older man. In spite of her irregularities, he made her feel special and loved. It was too bad that he is already married. However, he had a messy marriage life and my friend was cognizant of it.

Ugly as it may sound, she pinned her hope on his misfortune, hoping that one day he’ll recognize how his presence makes her world stop turning. But it was all for naught. As fate had it, he had to go away to support his family. His abrupt departure ultimately shattered her heart. For years, she would carry on with this heavy load on her heart. Although she fell in and out of love over and over again, she just can’t get over the sweet aftertaste of their brief interlude.

There are numerous brokenhearted fools out there whose stories will break your heart. In the world of literature, there are a lot. The matron of brokenhearted fools is probably Les Misérables’ Éponine, who fell madly in love with Marius, who, on the other hand, was besotted to Cosette. Our hearts were crushed when we heard Éponine sang her lonely heart’s soliloquy, On My Own. Every line and every emotion imbibed every emotion we wanted to proclaim:

“On my own, pretending he’s beside me
All alone, I walk with him ’til morning
Without him, I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes and he has found me.”

There’s lot who can associate with Éponine’s predicament. Initially portrayed as spoiled and mean due to her abuses towards Cosette, she redeemed for her sins by saving Marius from getting killed, taking the bullet that was meant to kill him. But isn’t that the sense of being a brokenhearted fool, taking the bullet for the one we love the most. Éponine is the epitome of a brokenhearted fool, those who loved unconditionally but whose love weren’t reciprocated. We are just all martyrs of love after all.

Just like Éponine and my friends, there is a brokenhearted fool in each of us. We keep on falling in love but we keep on getting hurt. We are all too vulnerable to that same old feeling because of our servile tendencies. But we keep on trudging on, no matter how heavy the load on our heart is. Eventually we get weary, we become doubtful and we start asking ourselves, is it all worth it.

Love can be many foolish things, too.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. ~ Lao Tzu

Love and Other Complications

But should we really close our hearts?

The first lesson we learn about love is that it is complicated. It is not as clear as black or white for in between is a wide gray sea. It is because of this complication that we keep on promising ourselves never to fall in love again. We build walls around our hearts but it is this complication that also leads us to falling in love again.

That is when we learn that love is undefinable. It just hits us head on, sans any warnings. There’s a lot who have tried to write about it but they have all failed because they cannot properly define what love really is. Some say it’s the physical appearance, some say it’s the virtues, while some say it’s the qualities but they can never ascribe as to the very reason why.

But just when we thought everything is alright, life takes us to a different turn. In the end, in spite of all the positive things love bring us, we get hurt, we get broken. The resilient will take it in stride, and just like the phoenix, they will rise. But there are those who will give up, give up on the idea of love, too weary being a brokenhearted fool. They deny themselves the chance of finding that special someone.

But why do we deny ourselves something that makes us happy? Falling in love, albeit it hurts, is a very wonderful feeling. Love makes us feel something very special. It gives that unusual twinkle in our eyes, that wonderful glow. It makes our heart race whenever our special someone is near us. Love makes you feel special, even if it is just for a few seconds.

Having realized this, I made a resolve to never close my heart. I have realized that I should keep on loving, loving deeply. It may not always end the way I wanted it to be but I will learn lessons. As Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Yes, I will get hurt. Yes, I will cry. Yes, I will buckle down. Love, for all its failures, is beautiful.

Falling in love and getting hurt is a cycle, until the right one finally comes along and changes your world, makes you see the entire universe like you’ve never seen it before, makes you fall in love over and over again and makes you feel sensations and emotions you’ve never quite felt before. In the end, in spite of the hurt and the pain, we will all realize that we are made to love deeply.

And the most crazy thing is you don’t even have an iota why you fell in love in the first place. We will always be brokenhearted fools but we have learned a lot and we will always carry with us the lessons from our previous heartbreaks. In time, everything falls into their right places.

After all, love simply is.

~CLB

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