The faint whisper of love caught my attention today and it’s on rare occasions like these that my feelings find ink. I had decided to see ‘Love Actually’ (for the third time) and was reminded of that petty emotion that is usually ignored, tossed around, talked about, deeply felt and sometimes refused to be acknowledged by my very full but slightly stale heart. The 2003 movie had eight couples dealing with love during Christmas time and I was particularly drawn to Daniel, Sam and his Joanna.
Daniel: Option One: ask her out.
Daniel: Fair enough. Option Two: become her friend.
Sam: She’s the most popular girl in school and she hates boys.
Daniel: Okay. Option Three: kidnap her and keep her tied up in your room until she agrees to marry you.
Sam: It’s a route I’ve considered.
Daniel: And quite rightly rejected on the grounds of…
Daniel: You know, Sammy, I’m sure she’s unique and extraordinary, but… the general wisdom is that, in the end, there isn’t just one person for each of us.
Sam: There was for Kate and Leo. There was for you. There is for me.
Sam: She’s “the one”.
Daniel: Fair enough.
Sam’s innocent love without fear of consequence left me a little envious this time. I’ve been a cynic of that dirty little trick of the heart for a while now. My success rate when it comes to guarding this tender organ in the chest is about 97%. I’ve also been known to give out free advice to all who come forth with an offer of love, to strongly reconsider their investment in me. It’s quite an achievement yes, but now I don’t believe I was destined for a lifetime of solitude. Yes, love still sounds like a crazy stunt in an action movie, worthy of the courageous, but the wise Sam has left me feeling inadequate. It’s not because it’s ‘that time of the year’ but because he has quietly sparked a reminder of that childlike quality of altruistic love that had long ago touched my soul. The kind that leaves you vulnerable but allows you to overlook imperfections –the kind of love that doesn’t quite see obstacles, but the expansion of the human experience. It’s easy to be imprinted with an imitation of love but it’s deeply dissatisfying to have to live a lifetime with it. Maybe sometimes it takes a movie and St. Valentine to remind us that we were probably designed to love, maybe not unconditionally but at least so we can live extraordinary lives.