Love, the mountain.

Dear Pogue,

Love?

To love. To be in love. To be loved. To have loved.

What does it all mean?

Are you aware that the Greeks have multiple words for love? Eros, Phila, Agape, Storge, Mania, Ludus, Pragma, Philautia.

Yet we’ve wrapped many of these into our single term. Curious and yet challenging because there is so much to unpack and explore. A magnitude hidden behind a single word. So I have challenged myself to set forth on this journey not knowing where it might lead.

I remember reading an essay some years ago, I think by Aldous Huxley, wherein he suggested that love, real love, could only be possessed by the rich. Why? Because he summised that only they have the luxury of time, time that is necessary to bring into being and grow love. In part I will agree. Love demands time, but as to whether it is only the wealthy who can give the necessary time, I think not. Love is grown and is not born fully formed, needs work and exercise, needs dedication to reach towards its potential.

At the very outset of this exploration it would be prudent to say that if there ever is such a thing as “love at first sight” then it is a naive and tentative thing, weak, awkward and every moment in danger of failing. Often infatuation or desire, these two impostors, will disguise themselves, striving to appear more than they are whilst claiming honorable intent.

In this, the first of several letters, please don’t get me wrong. I would not wish you to think me a cynic. I unreservedly believe in love. I just don’t think that thing that is commonly proclaimed as love is the real deal. It just doesn’t do what it says on the tin. I will be bold enough to go further and suggest that love, true love, is not a quality common to modern society. Rather many things are disguised as love because so many crave love, to be loved, to be able to give love, to in love, for we know deep down that this is something that needs fulfilling if we are to ever feel whole.

As you know I love mountains. So let the mountain become our metaphor for love. With this first letter we find ourselves standing at a distance, but at the same time realizing the immensity of the task ahead if we are to achieve our goal.

If it was Huxley who suggested love was only for those with excess hours to fill maybe he was onto something. But for now let me leave you with a quote from another that serves well as we take in the mountain.

To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. For this reason young people, who are beginners in everything, cannot yet know love: they have to learn it. With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered close about their lonely, timid, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love. But learning-time is always a long, secluded time, and so loving, for a long while ahead and far on into life, is — solitude, intensified and deepened loneness for him who loves.

Rainer Maria Rilke‘s Letters to a Young Poet

Love will return in our next letter.

Yours, hoping to get “all loved up”,

Wic

7 thoughts on “Love, the mountain.

  1. Awe, another mountain lover. Let them speak for love. Tonight I was watching a documentary of Norway, absolutely beautiful, full of mountains, some smooth with grass or smooth hard granite. Some are rugged, with loose rocks surrounding them. Some have deep valleys below, some just keep climbing but are all beautiful and in their own right. Earthly love is that way, smooth at times, rugged and rough, hard to climb its peeks, they can cost to do so. I have found love, not by the Valentine card quotes is full of struggles but worth it. It takes courage to love someone who is unlovely, or to take care for them or prefer them when they do not deserve it. Love is possible with out the feelings. In fact to wait on feelings might make it too late for a real love. Good thoughts Wic on love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What of a mother’s love? Love from the first sight of a fluttering heart beat. Yes it may flow and “feel” different through time, but the absence of time will never stop it from being love. Is it learnt? Is it dependent on reciprocation?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question and maybe as the journey develops we may come near to an answer. Watch this space. It is, after all, an adventure. The very best of adventures.
      Nice to have your question😎

      Like

  3. Such interesting musings about love! I think it’s interesting your blog banner quotes Thich Nhat Hanh. He wrote a book on the Teachings of Love. In the chapter about the Four Immeasurable Minds, he says, “For love to be true love, it must contain compassion, joy and equanimity. For compassion to be true compassion, it has to have love, joy, and equanimity in it. True joy has to contain love, compassion, and equanimity. And true equanimity has to have love, compassion, and joy in it.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking time to comment. I am an admirer, as I think you are, of Thich Nhat Hanh’s writing and his thinking although there are times when I have to sit long and hard to fully grasp what he is saying, such as with the quote you have chosen. Sometimes the simplicity makes them hard to fathom.

      Liked by 1 person

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