not everyone will climb to the top of mordor, and drop the ring into the fire. not everyone will pass through to the land of fairy in a magic mirror in an old manor’s parlor. not everyone will walk across the ice plateau of an alien world to safety on a quest of good political intentions gone awry. dueling massive polar-bear monsters on a desert world will also be rare in the life of most men, named John or not.
but, we will all fall in love. everyone will. if you are not in love, you will be again in love soon. it is what happens among humans who are among humans. it is the way things are.
fall in love today. fall in love with someone new, or someone you already love. find something new to celebrate with love. you have my permission.
the books dedicated to these baser emotions are usually quite apparent from their cover. the cover speaks to the fantasy of being adored. hot chick with sword/tramp stamp/etc? this will be a power fantasy, taking control of her body and emotions. hot chick with pirate/cowboy/viking? this will be a powerlessness fantasy, where adoration happens on its own while he or she was busy living and doing and probably scheming. books that talk about these things tend to be set aside from other books and labeled and covered in pink, purple, and clear symbologies of romance, sexual attraction, and the appeal to baser emotions through advertising. in other forms of fiction, where these advertisements tend not to take place, the elements of the larger story that are fueled by these baser, older narratives of love and abandon, become a layer of complexity that humanizes and personalizes the narrative.
because everyone has or will fall in love with someone. the only thing everyone truly has in common is that every single one of our ancestors had sexual intercourse, and the majority of that intercourse was consensual. love is what brought us all to this place, this moment, this wonderful life where we can also go and find more love.
people do love to have that window into the story, where characters’ lives beneath their clothes are equally at stake alongside the facade that comes with the suits of armor, the uniforms, the tattoos and symbols of power. beneath these signs of power there is a person, naked and perhaps ashamed, perhaps proud, but truly naked, mortal, and yearning for a connection with someone outside their own skin.
yesterday i spent all day in the garden. there will be flowers there, and the beauty that comes from things that grow. food and sex are all around us, and the base matter of civilization. they are more powerful things than violence, heroism, malice, and even death. we pulled radishes that had begun to flower, and planned on eating them. we let the asian spinach go to seed, that it might grow again in bounty. we cleared away the pinestraw that had protected the strawberries, onions, and garlic from the winter chill, that these may flower in the spring. it was something older than books to do in an afternoon. it was something older than culture and books. these living things, yearning to flower, are older, in their urges, than upright man. it was placing my hands upon an eternal truth that life begets life begets more life.
in fiction, this truth often comes in the form of the naked skin, the naked heart. gilgamesh weeps for enkidu, dons the skin of a lion, and roams the hills wild and forlorn. adam and eve, bound together by their sins, walk away from paradise together, always together. orpheus haunts the darkness in the shadowed footsteps of the nymph he loved more than any god-like song.
fall in love today. it is greater than violence, adventure, and anything that could be described as epic.
fall in love.