Monday, 4 April 2011

I believe in a thing called love!

(...that classic Darkness song!)

Can you remember what the last tune you heard on the radio was?

Driving back home last night I had Heart Fm on (of course!) playing the likes of Bruno Mars, 'Grenade' and Adele, 'Someone Like You'. I don't suppose you've heard those songs at all, have you? I always try and do some very bad break dancing whenever I hear that particular Bruno Mars song, but the lyrics go something like this:

"Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did.
To give me all your love is all I ever asked
Cause what you don't understand is

I'd catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I'd jump in front a train for ya
You know I'd do anything for ya

This, coupled with the wrenching lyrics of:

"Never mind I'll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you, too
Don't forget me, I beg
I remember you said
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead
" are well on the way to heartbreak city! It's interesting how we don't sing songs like this about our jobs /studies (can you imagine?!), but we write poems and wax lyrical about love. It seems that when we ponder upon the object of our affections we cannot help but evoke the eternal to describe the extent and nature of love's dynamic power, as well as the sense of the transcendent and enduring in so doing. Par example, "I will always love you" (Whitney Housten), "I loved you before I saw you" (Savage Garden) and "Take me as I am. Take my life. I would give it all, I would sacrifice" (Bryan Adams), to name but a few. But is that so? A part of me wants to shout "lies!" at this point. Especially when today all we seem to sing about is the rejection and ensuing heartache that occurs when that person lets us down. It seems as though we've gradually woken from the spell of the sleepy, sexy, sixties slumber - "she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah" - to the sobering reality - "You tossed in the trash, yes you did". Do we expect too much? Can someone really give us all their love?

A Christian guy called Tim Keller gave a talk on Love, Lust and Liberation* where he suggests that these wonderful experiences of love are intended as markers leading us to the person who really will always love you. He talks a lot about sex and sexual desire and even tells us how God speaks explicitly about it in the Bible. Whether you're single, going out, married, Christian, not a Christian, not bothered, it is really worth listening to! I'd appreciate hearing your reflections on it.

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."
- Captain Corelli's Mandolin

*Alas, the recording repeats itself at the 28min mark, but if you just skip it along to about the 50min mark it'll pick up from where you left it - don't worry, it is not a really long one!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Quote of the day

My hope is in what the eye has never seen. Therefore, let me not trust in visible rewards. My hope is in what the heart of man cannot feel. Therefore, let me not trust in the feelings of my heart. My hope is in what the hand of man has never touched. Do not let me trust what I can grasp between my fingers. Death will loosen my grasp and my vain hope will be gone.
Let me trust in your mercy, not in myself. Let my hope be in your love, not in health or strength or ability or human resources. If I trust you, everything else will become for me, strength, health and support. Everything will bring me to heaven. If I do not trust in you, everything will be my destruction.

- Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude, p.40.