Love is the Richest Emotion

I love you. You know who you are. I could listen to your voice for hours if you’d let me. And I suppose you would. But what reason could I give for wanting to hear it? What excuse could I offer for loving you, as if an excuse were necessary to explain the breadth and depth of love beyond borders and relationships? Love is non-exclusive. Love reaches across time, distance, gender, family ties, and friendship. It transcends everything. And it encompasses everything from friendly conversations to intimacy to appreciation to acceptance and embrace. We are lovers, though not in the traditional sense; not at the moment. Time and experience may turn tradition into a cauldron of molten rock, never to be touched without the pain of burned flesh. And that is perfectly all right. Our family ties or gender expressions or other commitments may erase any possibility of another chance at traditional intimacy; that is all right, too. We do not even know one another. We’ve never really and truly met. Though we have, haven’t we? We’re long-lost lovers whose transgressions no longer matter. But they do. Memories never die, they just fade into dreams, the legitimacy of which we’re never sure. But those faded memories emphasize the love that made them. They attest to the history that created those vague recollections that seem more like grey mist and blurred fog than precise, vivid color photographs. Your female form is both alluring and inconsequential. My maleness matters no more than a cup of water matters to the Pacific Ocean. Yet we’re a pair whose existence enables the Earth to spin on its axis. We control the planets and the sun and the moon’s trips across the sky. But we’re miles apart and shackled in comfortable chains. Those chains restrain us and tie us to a lifetime of joint exclusion. Who are we? Do we know how much we matter to one another? Do either of us have even an inkling? I am Apollo and you are Daphne. But we may not really exist. We may be expressions of time and opportunity. We’ll never know, will we? Unless you reveal yourself to me as the reason I dance across the heavens, wearing a crown of laurel leaves.

Love is the richest emotion. It can create magic and spin gold into rivers. Love is salvation in this lifetime; there is no salvation in another one, for there is no other lifetime than this. Love makes all the pain of living worth the agony. Love endures years and years of distance and neglect. There’s more, but you know the rest. Or you can, at least, imagine it.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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