Love is Not Loving: Luke’s notes on love

Valentine's tree


Happy Valentine’s Day! In celebration of the fourteenth of February, Severn House’s Luke reflects on the feeling called love in its many guises.

What is there to say about love that hasn’t already been said? Much more, I would have thought. It is, some might say, an inexhaustible source of inspiration; a source so rich it cannot be counted; and so lofty, it cannot be courted by anything but lovers feathered by the wings of chance. Indeed, the only thing it seems to exhaust is any effort pointed at resolving the sharp riddle it stands to symbolise: the riddle of the human heart.

To have an answer would be a lie; and an immediate distrust of those claiming to do so is perhaps wise to develop. There is no such thing. Love is not answered, it is experienced. It is felt; and felt hard. It courses through one’s flesh as if one’s very blood had been replenished with a foreign, glittery substance; at once pleasant, and at once piercing. It floods one’s senses with an overflow of life, and cascades deep into the well of one’s being. It swirls around one’s mind as if to be cleansing it, and echoes forgotten imaginings swallowed by the cavern of time. With it, the stars shine brighter; the sky’s blue appears a little lighter; and the faces that were once etched in misery, radiate sublime, placating looks, alleviating the burden of the day with the Herculean profundity of hope.

Its manifestation is an all encompassing enigma, just as Giaconda’s smile wryly mocks those who rest their gaze intently upon her, in vein (and vain) attempts, at unravelling her secret – so too, does love. Indeed, if it were to be given a face, hers it might well be. But, love being so often associated with thoughts light, delicate, and airy, (it is, perhaps, no coincidence that St. Valentine’s Day was conceived during what was once spring time), the harsh reality it may reflect often balks at the very idea.

That little feeling called love, then, takes on many guises. There is love. There is being in love. And there is loving. Each bear a significant distinction; but are almost impossible to imagine as separate to one another entirely. Just like it is in the films, so too we imagine it can be in reality. And who’s to say? There are many things far more unlikely. Either way, the piano of life continues to play, with nobody there to perform but the ghost of possibility, the delicate concerto of past, present and future, tracing the keys like the fecund soil of the transcendent, tilled and toiled by many a dreamer’s blistered hand, as what we imagine to be the final note, continues to softly resound throughout the engulfing silence.

Read more from Luke here.


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