What is it like to be in love, or to be passionate about someone? Where can one find the means to define such state of spirit ? Shall we try to unveil that marvelous uncertainty?
Language constantly tries to distinguish love, while expanding its web of definitions. The ancient Greek thinkers felt that it could be expressed through four concepts: Agápe — to will the good of another ; Éros — the appreciation of beauty and the attraction that derives from it ; Philia — the feeling of affectionate regard, friendship; or Storge — the natural empathy. In modern times, on the other hand, philosophers have come up with distinct understandings. Bauman- in his book Liquid Love — interprets love as the will to preserve and care for another; to contribute to the world and be piece by piece transplanted to it; to protect, feed and shelter; to possess and take responsibility. Though love cannot be labeled so simply.
To say that “I have loved” is to be satisfied with too little: the word love alone does not explain, does not suffice to describe. One cannot talk about love without neither recalling moments in life when it made itself present , nor letting thoughts get lost into sweet reverie. We cannot grasp love without searching for the reality of how it felt: the rebellious beat of the heart, the feel of impervious confidence, the spontaneous smile, or the urge for the other. In order to understand love we need to reach for reality, for love is far too complex and diverse.
Poets -for perceiving love more deeply- acknowledge that passion ought to be addressed with genuine thorough descriptions. Fantine and Tholomyès´s love was as “…the little cries, the pursuits through the grass, the waists embraced on the fly, those jargons which are melodies, those adorations which burst forth in the manner of pronouncing a syllable, those cherries torn from one mouth by another — all this blazes forth and takes its place among the celestial glories.” (Victor Hugo´s Les Misérables). As for Vronsky, love was all but just a glance of Anna´s eyes — “an instant as she looked at him and he saw a gleam in her eyes and, though the spark was at once extinguished, that one instant made him happy” (Leo Tolstoy´s Anna Karenina)
There is an infinity of romantic stories that have been and will be; each one -unique on its own — holds a piece to love´s puzzle. An ever undefined image. Are we confined to never deciphering love? What then? Be stubborn, keep on playing, and let that mysterious love do what it does best: surprise you.