01 March, 2011

Love At First Sight

I'm questioning the wisdom of writing this post, as I don't know that I'll be able to get my feelings across, but moreso because I should really be getting to bed now, and I know how absorbed I can get in the writing process once I've started. But there are two options here, really. I can either embrace the subject, and try to jot my thoughts down while they're fresh, or I can force them out of my mind - because if I do anything less, they will torment me and prevent me from getting to sleep even if I tried. So all I can do is try my best to exorcise them as quickly and efficiently as possible, so I can set my mind at ease, knowing that I've at least put in a good try at communicating the ideas that are currently flashing through my head.

Opinions differ greatly on the concept of "love at first sight" - whether it exists, and what its nature is. I can say with certainty that there is such a thing as "love at first sight", because I experience it on a regular basis. And though others may experience it differently, this is how it affects me. There is "love at first sight", though it's not exactly the same thing as "love after 40 years of dedicated marriage", or whatever conditions are necessary to prove a deep and lasting interpersonal commitment. But then, romantic love is not the same thing as familial love, and there are many different kinds of "love". "Love at first sight" may be a superficial kind of love - after all, its nature depends on the quality of sight with a presumed lack of deeper understanding - but whether or not anything deeper flows from it, it alone is worthy of consideration.

I saw a girl today at "the market" and she completely turned my world upside down. If I am bitter that I have too little contact with girls, I am at least thankful that there is no shortage of pretty girls in the world. No matter how ugly life and politics get, I still see them out there. And as they inevitably grow out of their physical prime (in an aesthetic sense), there is no shortage of new product to reline the shelves, if I may utilize a grossly impersonal metaphor. I saw this girl but for a fraction of a moment - maybe two, three seconds at most - as I was walking into the store, and she was walking out. Blonde hair, pale skin, lithe frame, perfect age, and cuter than all hell.

I fought really hard not to stare, and I only barely managed to tear my eyes from her for one second out of the three or four seconds she was in my line of vision. Yet, during that time, her eyes met mine, and it was clear to both of us that we had noticed one another. I'd like to flatter myself with the belief that she had taken notice of me and thought me attractive, but the fact that her eyes (so subtly) lingered on me could very well have been the direct result of my interest in her - she saw me looking at her with what must have been more of an admiring than an inquisitive, or, more to be expected, disinterested glance.

I could have stared at her all day were I given such a divine opportunity. I would have lunged forward and dropped to my knees before her to beseech her for the opportunity to spend some time in her presence, to be even a tiny part of her world. But I couldn't bring myself to even turn my head as she passed behind me, heading out the door (without the slightest slowing of her step). I wished only that my glance had not been too transparent - though I would love to have brightened the girl's day by flattering her with my attention, if such a result is possible, I feared the reaction that she or society, or her mother that she marched alongside, would have if they but knew the power and influence this girl had over my heart - that she had over me, and not vice versa!

As the vision faded behind me, the enchantment lingered as I entered the store. If you wonder at how easily I seem to shake off such dramatic impulses, or question the impact of these visions, considering my natural ability to walk away from them, know only that I am quite accustomed to such occurrences, as they occur so very frequently (and yet never frequently enough to satisfy!), and that their impact is no less as a result. My entire day was brightened by this vision of beauty that passed by my sight, ever so briefly, and yet also I was deeply saddened, for one cannot avoid coming down from such a high, and wishing to have had the chance to fly even higher upon that angel's wing.

You can call it what you want. It is magnetic attraction, surely. But to call it anything less than a form of love is to do a disservice to the depth of emotions that accompany such an experience (on the one side, if, regrettably, the feeling is not mutually shared). Superficial? Inasmuch as it is possible for the outer layer to impact one's very soul, then yes, you could call it superficial. But it is so intense that it hardly means much for me to call it that. I don't pretend that it's anything it's not - I don't pretend there is any mystical fated connection, or believe that the chances of our compatibility are any better than between anyone else, aside from the obvious existence of a physical attraction (again, at least in one direction). But that in itself is something, and for some, it is more important than for others. Not just important, but potent. Powerful. My heaven was moved today.

And I'm not sure that my vulnerability to being shaken so by the slightest flutter of a passing angel is not a curse. But if it is, it is a curse I will gladly bear, for I am addicted to its effect, and I am grateful that such a simple thing can thrill me so thoroughly, even though mixed in with that joy is a strong desire for that which is yet so much rarer, and something that I am not sure is attainable for one such as me. I believe in angels because I see them in this world. But if that desire were to be fulfilled, I would then and only then be able to believe in a God(dess).

And now I must retire to what shall (regrettably) be, most likely, a dreamless sleep.


  1. I am tempted to claim that happiness lies in the stability I have painstakingly crafted for myself.

    But that would be a grave trespass against every moment of my mania, every one of which is enjoyed in earnest and in full.

    Love is a word used for many things. An attraction and love are not synonymous. But when I use the word love... when I say that love is all that matters, or that love is the answer, or that life is love... I'm not talking about what the Dalai Lama calls love, or what the romance novels call love. It is not altruism or yearning I describe.

    I think what I call love is quite like what you're describing here. Other ways I describe it is "the spark of the divine" and "euphoria," but those seem to fall short of capturing the benevolent aspect of the experience. It's not mere joy, it's soul joy. It's a happiness so 'meaningful' and/or powerful that it generates good will i.e. love. Good will for the girl, or the world, or for anything.

    If the world has anything better to offer, I haven't found it. And to be quite immodest I have experienced a number of different things.

  2. The way I see it, there are girls I am attracted to, and then there are girls I fall head over heels for. And the latter deserve to be put in a special category.

    It's like the difference between having a cool refreshment on a hot day, and being awash in an orgasm of ecstasy. One is "like", the other is "love".

    But the love I worship is not a word with a definition, it is a feeling. I'd call it beauty, except that the beauty itself exists independently, and what impresses itself upon me are the feelings that beauty makes me feel.

    As David Hamilton has said, "there is more beauty in the perception than there is in the subject."

  3. The way I see it... love is an unfortunately complex term. We opt to use a single word to describe such a vast array of experiences that the term itself is basically worthless. It's one thing for a word to have a few different meanings. It's another for a word to be assigned an array of inexplicable attributes, in addition to a dozen-plus alternative meanings, ranging from tangible to ethereal.

  4. Yet more evidence that love is god (and vice versa).