The word evokes so many images, ideas, opinions, and emotions that it’s difficult to know where to start. But it’s been on my mind of late, so I’ll give it a shot.
I guess I should begin by admitting (despite my predisposition towards misanthropy) that I’ve been quite lucky in love. I’ve been blessed with a family who has always been extremely demonstrative and supportive; great friends, many of whom I may not have appreciated as I should have; and a wife that continues to adore me, despite my flaws.
I’ve definitely made a few mistakes in my search for companionship over the years, but, then, who hasn’t? And, in retrospect, many of those mistakes were nothing more than perceptual – based on my confusing the “idea” of love with the real thing. It’s such an easy mistake to make, after all, that I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t the reason for so many of the unhappy relationships out there… When you’re desperate to live in romantic bliss, sometimes a mirage of love can be overwhelmingly appealing, even if reality proves unhealthy.
In my writing, I’ve tried to use my experiences (limited as they may be) to bring realism to the relationships between my characters. It’s important to me that they’re not immune to the kinds of problems that afflict many searching for love. Infatuation is a major theme that I’ve tried to explore, as is idolization (who among us hasn’t “crushed” on someone who barely knows you exist?). I’ve also tried to explore the depths of the “true” love that exists between my characters. As those of you who’ve known “true” love can attest, it often manifests very differently than how it’s presented to us in the media.
Don’t get me wrong, bliss does exist. I’m not trying to convey the message that love is an illusion, or that it is any less wonderful than what we’ve been presented with in fiction and fantasy. I simply wish to impress upon you that “true” love will manifest differently for everyone, and that it’s in love’s idiosyncrasies that it’s true wonder lies.
Real love will anchor you, when you are feeling lonely and adrift;
It will heal the scratches from all of life’s nettles;
It will guide your dreams, and shape your reality;
Real love will shatter the mirror that keeps you from seeing the world as it really is…