“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”
– Vincent Van Gogh
If I added it all up, I’m a failure at romance. I’m 41, unmarried, never been married, and to say I have no prospects on the horizon would be like saying that it’s hard to find the Great Lakes in the Sahara. I literally haven’t had a girlfriend since 2008 (and that mess lasted only two months) and haven’t even tried to find a new one since 2014, when things never panned out with that Russian girl in Florida.
You’d think I’d given up. But I haven’t.
Sun Tzu once wrote, “The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.”
Similarly, it’s my belief that the art of actually getting along with another human being on a daily basis, who is as deeply flawed as I am (and as any other human being I know of) is of vital importance to one’s soul. It is the road to safety or ruin for everyone involved in your relationship, and shouldn’t be neglected.
I “gave up” on love to work on myself, to create the me that I would be proud to, in a moment of emotional nakedness and complete vulnerability, proclaim to a potential lover, “This is me and who I am. Please learn with me.”
These three images, taken of the red maple in my front yard, symbolize pure, real love surviving, and winning, despite the darkness.
Do you remember what it’s like to be in the presence of real love, when you were stressed or exhausted, and you lay in your lover’s arms and they comforted you, when love was a word that symbolized true admiration and depth of responsibility you felt for each other? Remember that, and chase it if you don’t have it now.