When You Know Nothing at All…

Foto: sxc.hu

We all carry with us lost loves with their traces. Some fade away with time, some remain ever present and choose to live in our memory forever.

Every time a leaf falls on a certain sidewalk on which we first kissed, every time a certain song is aired on the radio, every time we pass a certain bench on the alley that we used to stroll hand in hand on…every time we do that there is something inside us that dies all over again. It’s like living that love story again, in the spacious stretch of a second, its birth and its death at the same time.

I once had a love like that. Or I thought I did. The kind of love that haunts you and refuses to let you go, the kind of love that resides in your thoughts and in the terms of comparison that you apply to all the people you meet, a love that is no longer with you but which is yet more present than ever. The irony of the heart…

It was convenient to think about my lost love. Convenient in an almost masochist and victimizing way, or, as Marguerite Yourcenar phrased it in her book „Alexis or the treaty of vain battle”, „It is easy to feel superior when you have suffered more and when you feel that the sight of happy people awakens in you a feeling of disgust for happiness”. I felt brave and superior in a way, I felt like I had experienced something so mind-blowing that it would never go away, that any love I may encounter in my life would be merely an epilogue of that „one” unique and lost love. I felt like the heroine of a great book. Yes, I shamefully agree that I sometimes seem to have a vocation for Danielle Steel moments.

Nonetheless, as I was sitting in my bed, half-awake, half-asleep the other night, with thoughts wondering away to past, present and future in an arbitrary way…I had the full revelation of the stupidity of my acts. And, with all due respect for my little drama queen that resides somewhere deep inside, like it does in any of us, I realized how empty and meaningless my great love had been.

No, it’s not wishful thinking, nor is it a way of finding inner peace and reconciling with the past, although I did achieve that as well some time ago. It was the most natural and unexpected full circle that I went through, realizing that all this time I had treasured in my heart a love which had only one actual actor. Myself. And no, I’m not saying it was an unrequited love. There were two participants in this love story, yes. However, it wasn’t a person that I was now mourning, it wasn’t his presence, his jokes, his smile, that I was finding particularly hard to forget. No…I was mourning my own feelings of happiness out of being smitten with someone. I was mourning the way he made me feel – alive, young, happy. In the end, as selfish as it may sound, it was about me. All the way.

I missed that love because it made me feel alive, it made me feel happy, it gave my heart a clear and specific purpose in a time in my life when I was searching for my own path. The magic of his presence was just the plain magic of love itself, with its butterflies. Like a 15-year old drinking her first glass of wine, it was only natural that I would become a bit dizzy.

And yes, I loved that dizziness that love made me feel, the „dizzy dancing way it feels, when every fairytale comes real”, as Joni Mitchell sang in the one song him and me shared. Looking back now, I feel that I somehow tried to console myself and in a strange way to depict myself as a martyr of this love, when, in the end, it had nothing special than the meaning I had willingly chosen to attach to it.

As I came to terms with this, I smiled. I was brave getting over that love but I feel braver now facing the truth of it all. And I cannot help but agree with Joni Mitchell. „It’s love’s illusions I recall. I really don’t know love…at all”.

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