X Marks the Spot

Left center breast, heart thudding in a panic.

However many saddened souls decry its effect, there is no defying the truth of its power when love comes to call.

Whatever I say here is high grade, raw and unretouched experience. And still I know not a damned thing about it. I’ve come close to love a couple of times but not like the advertising promotes.

The negatarians push their crusty philosophy that it’s not a lack of affection, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages. While both are quite necessary for pheromones to play power politics with the heart, they remain two halves of the same whole. To imply that either friendship or affection alone is responsible for a happy outcome is to discount a vast combination of additional variables. It’s like saying carbon and hydrogen alone make up the earth. But there are 102 other elements involved here, guys. And those are just the ones we know about.

In other words, it’s way more complicated than just two emotional elements — I’m talkin’ to you, Mr. Nietzsche.

There is as much charm as foolishness required for love. As much reason as whimsy, stupidity as sex appeal, grandeur as groveling, and as much patience as rage. Every single blessed one of these gestures of insecure pride are mandatory for the fully realized romantic encounter to take flight.

And what a glorious defiance of gravity it can be. The first blush of love is the thunderous and showy confidence of a roman candle responding to a single desperate flare gun sending a stream of sparks through the night.

Love defies reasonability itself. That’s why the term “romantic comedy” is itself the redundancy of the ages.

I personally am nothing special. I am a singular, unattached mass of intuition who bears no more evidence of these beliefs than the tightly clenched knot of scar tissue in my torso.

And yet it beats.

With hope.

Hope that one day very soon these throbbing little beats of expectation will be met with a perfectly reflective drumming — the sympathetic pulse of another. Yes, dear ones, unlike love, optimism is a more definable, defendable virtue but I’m not prepared to get into that here. Let us simply agree that hope is a happy, healthy puppy and love is a multi-tentacled mythical creature that would confuse the hell out of Medusa.

As Robert Fulghum asserted, “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love — true love.”

Scripture speaks of love being patient and kind. I believe this is true but also radically truncated. For love is many, many more indefinable things. It is cruelly timid, embraceably wicked, fearless, cunning and vain. Love is the substance of so many contradictions that it is impossible to define it singularly for any two people. But for each of us we know too well its powers over us personally.

As the years accumulate I hear more and more loudly the ticking of my watch. I readily wish for complete vulnerability and the absolute fabrication that is romantic alchemy. I secretly seek the unreasonably impossible, with much the same confidence that a six-year-old child trusts in the truth of buried pirate treasure. Fool that I am, I will always invest myself in the mystical belief that X marks the spot.

Now if only I could find a reliable compass.





12 thoughts on “X Marks the Spot

  1. Michael.. thought producing post. Deep and personal..and on LOVE…thank-you! One of the hardest words to explore! You sound like a great spirit whom has experienced lifetimes of love..coming back over and over again searching and searching for what you have had before..a spiritual level that the conscious mind finds it hard to connect with the subconsious of the mind.. Oh dear I will write too much.. thank-you for approaching love and where X marks the spot. I will come back and continue reading, your a wonderful writer, speaking from your heart.
    Tara 🙂

    • Yes, love is a paradox wrapped in an enigma wrapped in bacon wrapped in a crescent roll with too many calories. Damn that tasty, seductive love.

      Just kidding — as usual you give me a glow of satisfaction that I was able to affect one or two readers. My deepest thanks for your faithful support during this year’s A to Z Challenge. You have done an admirable job as well and I too am a fan of your fine work.


  2. I can’t say a darn thing here. Trying to leave a comment for you is like a preschooler trying to comment on a college thesis.
    Well done. As usual. I’m no longer surprised by this. I do enjoy your posts, though. 🙂

  3. What a delightfully intense post on a complicated topic! I have known true love–and I share it with the man of my dreams every day. Much of it, I believe, comes from the determination to love a person whether it feels good or not. I don’t know that there is a compass to find it, for me it simply appeared. Keeping it alive seems to be the greatest challenge for many. May you find your heart’s desire!

    • Oh, Ornery, you make me smile. Of course you need no compass when you’re standing in The middle of Eden and asking directions to Paradise. You’re one of the fortunate few.

      Many thanks for your fond good wishes and glowing remarks.

  4. The compass that you seek is within Michael! Lovely post thank you! So many variations of love and a timely reminder of all that it is .. weird yes. Adding some patience and kindness along the way makes it all the more yielding … the more you give the more you get – like mother’s milk, the more the mother feeds the infant, the more milk is available.
    Susan Scott’s Soul Stuff

    • Thank you for stopping by, Susan. Of course the compass my parents instilled in me is wonderful and has guided me nicely. But the modern we geography of love is so far afield of what they taught me, I need a better reference for true north. As always, it’s a thrill to read your sage commentary. Much appreciated.

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