Romance. I can be a real buzz kill on two subjects: Death and Romance. I have some rather strong opinions on both and this is why I do not have the "nice" things many others enjoy. Mortality few want to discuss and I'm not much interested in what is nice or in cultivating the popular parlance of romance. I am, however, very open for others to enjoy the fascination. I've had it and I get it. Still, I think that not enough examination of the inclination to romanticize our relationships to other people gets explored. I used to think that if it wasn't for romantic thinking that no children would be conceived. People would recognize too soon that the other person did not meet muster in some way before the deed could be done and the family established. There must be the swoon and the spoon, I thought.
I no longer think this. Things have changed immensely for the better on the child conception front over the last few decades. I think now that romance is a dress rehearsal of sorts or perhaps better said, it is an opening stanza establishing focus for the more engaging and sustainable energetic of loving. Romance is a kind of love. We are really after a sustainable love with substance and vitality. While living on wedding cake alone is not sustainable the buzz has had to do while we learn how to relate better to each other.
So it is with the human need for connection. More often than not it is not love but an entanglement that fixes us into a cycle with another that feels secure and engages us. These ways of loving, however, are unable to encompass the larger dispensation of benevolence and the universal sweep that taps into our origins. Romance, like popular culture nibbles away at it's edges feeding on its own to keeping itself alive. Love is a much bigger subject. It is sustainable, mutable and predicated upon benevolence and compassion. We are learning this while we are up to our assholes in romance and focused predominately upon the compromises we make to accommodate it. We can do better at loving. Evolution demands it.
This poem by Hafiz reminds me of this subject and the tender trap we all enjoy to falling into - mostly - it seems because we have no other model yet but also because it still feels so damn delightful to be ensconced in romantic thinking and the feeling of belonging. It feels good until we realize what we give up to play in that sandbox. Then we compromise (or not) and adjust our narrative (or not) to grow into the other(s) we have chosen in going forward. Romance that allows love to develop can be very rich. Hafiz is suggesting here that we forgive the dream. Love it and honor it in how it provided a place for us to step into a way of living in joy and abundance - even if it sometimes made us feel a fool. Make love real.
You still listen to an old alley song
that brings your body pain;
Music: Romance's last hurrah may have been the 1970's. 10cc and the song, The Things We Do For Love hurled itself into my brain immediately after writing this. Our confusion over sex and love (as darkly illustrated by this bit of popular culture*) will work itself out long before our perplexity around love and romance which has a deeper source in our being. So here you are from my personal musical history vault via my guidance.
Fiber Artwork by Faig Ahmed
* Sorry/not sorry for the dark humor. It's my nature. I'm hard wired this way.
The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz (including an addendum regarding the authenticity of these poems) can be found here.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.