I had an interesting conversation with a dear friend of mine last Friday. We only struck the tip of what I think is quite a humongous iceberg floating on the arctic sea of my inner world, and I quickly slid off it before tears of heated emotion had the time to gush into my eyes and cause an embarrassing flood. I don’t know why I got that way – self-pity, most probably. Nonetheless, after I’d composed myself and started thinking a bit, I realised a few things that I wasn’t aware of before – things that have got a lot to do with love and relationships, and much more so with a certain Harold Arlen song that has for some mysterious reason kept buzzing on repeat in my head ever since.
Who was ever too blasé for love?
I was, and still am. A long time ago (I can’t remember when exactly, but it must have been at some point in the past century), I decided with finality that there is an odd number of people living on this planet, and that I am that odd one out. I may have short-term lovers and long-term partners, but essentially, I will always remain alone. It suits my nature – I’m an only child, a lone wolf, a wilful personality who likes things done her way. It took me ages to learn how to work in a team when I was at school, and I still have to curb my natural inclination to tell the world which way to turn – around me, of course!
For years, I thought that this was a uniquely brave stance. After all, look at the number of people that are terrified of being alone: I know a few, and for all I know you may be one of them. I, on the other hand, dreamed of living in an abandoned medieval castle somewhere in Scotland ever since I knew what medieval castles were and where I’d be likely to find one. I imagined myself, in my childish naiveté, living without any human or animal company, just writing books and enjoying the cloudy, windy, rainy weather. Until last Friday, when I realised that, for sixteen years or so, I was in fact being a smug, oblivious coward.
If we have to fight, let’s fight for love
The truth is, I’ve taken the easy way out. I’ve decided at the start that true love – finding that ultimate connection with someone – is so improbable that I gave up looking altogether. In other words, I gave up dreaming and settled for a cynical ‘realistic’ attitude, which was in actual reality akin to putting a pair of blinders on my eyes and claiming that I can see the world all the more clearly.
For what opens our eyes more than dreams? Since last Friday, I’ve realised how brave and unconventional, how rare and wonderful, are those people who still believe in true love – those that carry the hope in them that they may, one day, find their soul-mate. They do it despite changing times and saming people, they believe, and they keep trying, despite numerous falls and painful blows. They pick themselves up, and they search, they fight for their dream, for their love. In someone else’s words: they have the audacity to hope.
Just the same – hooray for love!
What I’m really aiming for in this post is an expression of my profound admiration for all the dreamers that are still out there. I used to think I was one of you, but now I know that I’m not. It’s not in my nature to be, I suppose, as I just can’t bring myself to believe – I’m much too much of a coward, unlike you. Think of an explorer who’d have set off to discover new worlds only to arrive in her backyard again. That’s exactly what happened to me. Nonetheless, I see that my backyard needs mowing, and clearing, and planting some trees, perhaps. Who knows? One day, possibly, I will bump into someone who will change all my opinions… in the meantime, I’ll keep singing those Leo Robin words, simply because I can’t help myself: hooray, hooray for love!
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You know what’s hilarious? I was listening to a Harold Arlen album as I was touching up this post and, as I typed the last exclamation mark, a new song came on. It’s name? Down With Love – that’s precisely why I’m in love with life.