Love Far and Away — Forever with Me
To quote Thomas Merton: “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone — we find it with another.”
I personally would not have ever imagined that the meaning of life could be found in corresponding with another person who lives oceans away, in another country, on a totally different continent. In fact, the string of emails between us has endured over six years and there seems to be no end in sight.
In the very begin of our online correspondence I deemed him my demi-god. It is a title that he has over time come to accept, but does not entirely understand how it is that I see him in that kind of light. I had in the beginning explained to him my love of Roman and Greek mythology; and, because he lives in Rome he playfully became my demi-god.
I have learned so much about myself and the meaning of life via our emails. Meeting him on the internet has been priceless and life changing for me. He has deepened my understanding of the fragileness of all human beings. He has taught me about the nuances of love via the ancient Greek philosophers’ teachings on love. Not very long ago he mentioned to me that he feels more Agape (the Greek word meaning a love for everyone). His use of the word sparked within me a desire to know more about the different kinds of love. This led me to learn that the ancient Greeks had six words for Love:
- Eros — sexual passion
- Philia — deep friendship
- Ludus — playful love
- Agape — love for everyone
- Pragma — longstanding love
- Philautia — love of self
These six words defining love are very much applicable today. In a recent email I wrote the following to my demi-god: “…if I were to sign my letter/email (maybe just this email), I might sign it with a deep feeling of Philia. I know that this type of love is concerned with deep comradely friendship that developed between brothers in arms who had fought side by side on the battlefield. It is about showing loyalty to your friends, sacrificing for them, as well as sharing your emotions with them. This is also the kind of love that is embodied between parents and their children. But if I were to be honest I would admit that there is a bit of all of the six words rolled up into one ball of energy. Always there seems to be within me the Eros love for you, but with each passing year the Philia love seems to deepen, and there is always an edge of Ludus (playful love) that I feel towards you even in my darkest times. However, most recently, I think because of our communication, I have come to embrace and understand the meaning of Philautia. Because of your thought process, the way you look at things so different than the way I look at or understand things, I have come to understand myself more than ever before. Don’t ask me how, but you bring reason to the irrational world behind my eyes.
Knowing you continues to be one of the most pivotal and precious ongoing moments of my life. I have grown because of you. You share with me pieces of you in such subtle and non-resistant ways. You are so far away and yet you are an anchor to me. I adore you for the brilliance of all that I see in you. You are my demi-god. There is something inexplicable and timeless in what I feel for you. I am here for you always, if nothing more than to be your sounding board, as you have been for me so many countless times. I will always hold you and see in you the best light possible, even in your darkest times. I see your exquisite and eternal being. I rejoice in you and all the blessing you bring to this world.”