Valentine’s Day might have rolled off without me as the other half of a romantic couple, but please, sing no doleful songs for me – because love still abounds within and around me. Love that I have for my son, for the few family members and friends I’ve still got, for the things that make me happy. Even though I have made the decision to eschew actual liaisons in my life, it still holds power upon my being as a woman… and I would forever have this need to write about it. A misty-eyed 14-year-old red-rose dreamer I remain.
Talking about the four-letter word that has consumed every female being on our planet since time immemorial, is there any higher mystery that has ever lived inside our minds and souls? How often have I seen women appeal for love in the same way they appeal for mercy in the face of life’s unforgiving peripheries? How many women like me have been taken in by its glowing illusions and promises?
In a land notable for people willing to die in the name of love; where round-the-clock “telenovelas” lord over TV ratings, and endless media themes speak of passion “conquering it all,” people here from all walks of life clutch stories of high and low from the annals of their beloved sentiments.
A measure of emotional chaos had already presided over a huge fraction of my younger years – courtesy of many a rambunctious affair of the heart. Could it have something to do with the precarious self-esteem I’ve carried around which stemmed from my childhood insecurities?
One delicate lesson I’ve learned from those years: The surest way to drive yourself batshit insane is to cling to the notion that love will stay, when it is in fact wiggling in all directions to depart from you.
So I’ve often found myself asking this question: What do I make of the rules when my heart usually does the thinking for me?
The rules of love I am always in danger of forgetting.
The rules of love I have, in helpless frustration, inked onto my skin.
It’s been more than a year since I’ve freed myself from any romantic entanglements on my side of the globe here. The main purpose of which is to keep me away from an internal cage I have long since escaped. I was starting to think I’d never get the brand of peace I’d been searching for. So I had to run away in hopes that tranquillity would be able to find me. Gradually somehow, it came and I got it. I almost couldn’t believe it. Simplicity and space had held dominion; allowing for sensible calm to reign inside of me; granting me a tempered existence…and a liberation that surprisingly gave me some of the most remarkable times of my life. So I began to think happiness would be here to stay. Finally. Then came the major blow last month that brought me to my very knees. The one that shattered my hopes for a continuous path layered with calm and beauty.
It’s like I’ve closed my eyes with a smile and dreamed of rainbows and butterflies. But when I opened them again, a totally different world has taken place. Completely.
Months ago, I watched Rihanna’s tearful confession at the Oprah channel of how she still feels for the man who has assaulted her. She got castigated and maligned by the public as a result of that interview. I may not have gone through what she experienced, although as I watched her painfully shedding tears over a first love she just couldn’t let go, I somehow understood her. I don’t necessarily condone the actions that took place between Rihanna and Chris Brown. But the girl merely in need of drama in her life, they say? No. It’s just a woman in love who couldn’t help being true to her feelings.
When we were little children, my parents would watch popular reruns of Tom Jones’ musical show and made us dance every time he commences with the upbeat tune of “It’s Not Unusual.” Before the end of the show, he would belt out tender, ardent songs like “You’re My World” and “I know” – and my sister and I would listen. When we became young girls, we’d remember and be dreaming of the princes in our futures who would feel that way about us. Just like in those songs.
Then we all grew up…and we lived…and we learned.
You began to realize no man is worthy enough to make you consign your heart to prison once more. In the same vein you get jaded by the reality that princes do turn into frogs eventually.
Valentine’s Day – and what it stands for – will preserve its magic in my mind nevertheless. Besides, it’s always good to foster the feeling until the end of your days.
That‘s how you find the emotional girl in me. The girl who may be cited for not truly condemning drama in her life. A woman, to be more precise, who would turn 80 decades from now, and still be longing of walking along some rose-full field of dreams.
The woman with a heart that would probably never know of time.
10 thoughts on “The Heart That Recognizes No Time”
Very wise. I can relate to your description of what will drive a woman, batshit insane…. I think that our notions of young love are at best 80% wrong. Perhaps, we are only able to see it when our hormones begin to slow as we head into middle age.
Society and media are both answerable to feeding the erroneous notion that as long as we are part of a couple, we are validated and everything will turn out fine. It’s basically our gender who suffers more for this because of our softer and sensitive nature. We want those fairytale endings, so we always try to hold on and endure the unendurable. Although I still believe love is beautiful and ideal between the right people, men and women must be oriented with the fact that relationships require hard work from both sides.
I am a good example of what a woman should never be when it comes to love. I suffered a lot and wasted too much time. I should have undergone long-term therapy. Good thing I discovered blogging and that saved me from forking out plenty of cash to pay someone just to listen to my b%#s*%t stories, paradoxes and sundry issues about romance. 🙂
Thank you for reading and for your wise comment as well.
While I’m writing this comment, I’m still digesting your delicate blog post. It’s saturated with feelings of life and deep emotions.
I’m afraid I disagree with you regarding the belief of dying in the name of love. I believe it’s the other way around. I long for a land notable for people willing to live in the name of love, for love, is more about birth than death.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I like and appreciate it when a dear co-blogger disagrees with something I wrote.
The Philippines has long been known for its people who put their hearts over their minds. Really true. Filipinos who lived abroad for years or travelled much and came back here usually carry the observation that it’s only in our soil where you can continuously hear of people committing crimes of passion, taking their lives because of a brokenheart, and sacrificing too much for love. I don’t know what made us that way – and frankly, I believe it could be one of the factors that hinder our growth as a nation. People here can be just too emotional. 🙂
“I long for a land notable for people willing to live in the name of love, for love, is more about birth than death.” I do like this one, coming from you. And how I agree. Very much.
You make me quite grateful for your thought to share your winsome and insightful response.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too!
This is an insightful, courageous, and heartfelt expression of your thoughts and feelings, and although, on the surface, your longings seem contradictory to your experiences, I would say they are actually very much in tune with them, as you place such a high value on the importance of having your ideals realized within a particular framework. You may simply not have encountered the right circumstances for them to BE realized in that way as yet. Kahlil Gibran, the famous Lebanese writer and philosopher wrote:
“Think not that you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs YOUR course.”
Your words reveal a loving and gentle spirit at your core, in spite of possessing a fair degree of caution resulting from your experiences. Your longings are your loving spirit’s way of telling you that all things are possible. Perhaps, the contentment you spoke of with your experience of “calm and beauty,” might also be realized within the experience of love as well.
My one uncertainty within the text your wrote was my feeling that love is not something that either stays or doesn’t stay. It is my belief that we can either embrace a life within which love can flourish, or live with love kept at a distance. In other words, we can either choose to remain open to love, or we can choose to close the door on it. Again, Gibran illuminates the essential in love:
“Love has no other desire than to fulfill itself. Love possesses not, nor would it BE possessed, for love is sufficient unto love.”
Thank you so much for this amazing gift of sharing……Regards…..John H.
I was bowled over by your beautiful comment here that I’ve struggled in composing a worthy response for it.
This is kind of a risky piece for me as it reveals some paradoxical points of view I have earned through the years of living, loving and losing. The love that I have kept sacred in my mind and heart is not the same as the one I have experienced and witnessed among people everywhere or around me. I admit my blase outlook is the consequence of personal happenings that repeated themselves over and over again. Love has yet to be redefined in terms of how each party in a couple -or one of them- is willing to bend and jump through hoops just to keep the relationship going. Sad but true.
Or I may not simply be the kind of woman who’s willing to embrace the unpleasant truths about man-woman relations just to belong to a “romantic” partnership. It’s more like it I am sure. 🙂
But the idea of a love so ethereal and never-ending is too precious to let go from our hearts and awareness. We normally live for dreams that are out of reach – and sometimes, that’s what makes life worth living.
The fragrant passages from Kahlil Gibran you shared with us are highly valued and gratefully received, John.
It’s always a pleasure to have you drop by and to read your courteous and in-depth remarks.
Blessings to you,
What an incredible post! Marj, Thank you for sharing it! I’ve always believed that a thing worth having is a thing worth working for. When it comes to couples and being in love both people have to work to keep things strong between them and allow them to grow together because your right it is easy for people to stray away from each other. Temptations are around every corner and the pitfalls can be deep, but if people work hard at it and really care about each other the efforts become effortless and so does the desire to stay true.
Martin, it’s a delight to find you here again! I’ve been wondering how things are with you because you haven’t updated us your readers much recently.
Your take on what it takes to keep things strong between a man and a woman is ideal, sensible and advisable. But if you can let me share another perspective of mine about this; I actually believe in soulmates and matches made in heaven – although one lifetime is not enough for most people to find the partners meant for them. Only in such context can true commitment and fidelity exist. Otherwise, it’s going to be a difficult or a never-ending struggle for both parties to stay true to each other. People change over time, circumstances alter, and situations evolve. Love, apart from its ephemeral nature, is sometimes not enough to make things work in a relationship.
I like the sweet, romantic concept of love still. And I always will…Hence, this post. 🙂
I hope you are doing well, my pal. You’ve been missed.
I don’t know if this is an appropriate analogy, but one thing I’ve noticed about gardening is that the more I try to force something to grow, the more I find myself staring at empty dirt. The minute I pull back and call it quits, something healthy and beautiful appears — something I didn’t even plant there. Maybe not needing to be in a relationship is the most fertile ground of all. Just as your earlier dreams turned out to be bad predictions of the future, maybe your present resignation and feelings of contentment will lead you to an unexpected and fulfilling relationship. You never know.
Meanwhile, your writing is beautifully honest. I hope you’re doing well, at least sometimes.
Nothing could be truer when it comes to your garden analogy in which the sprouting of something beautiful happens when we do not force anything to grow.
“The lead to an unexpected and fulfilling relationship” is not the hard part, Bb. It’s the tending to it that always proves to be the crux. I’m more often confused on how to connect the metaphor of love to a beautiful flower plant. Is it the blooming period that we must seize because of the flower’s fleeting nature or is it the necessity of looking after the whole plant that we should focus on to keep it alive and healthy?
How about showcasing in your blog the photos of the garden you are cultivating? Your readers would absolutely adore that.