“Do You Want To Make Love Last? What do you want to do first?”
From Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins, local author and personal hero.
It’s a double yummy juicy entendre. How do we make Love last? It’s an eternal question.
First, what constitutes making Love, let alone making it last? If you want to make Love last, what role does fore play? Something has to come first if there is a last. What do we do first to make Love last?
Perhaps we must first decide to believe in Love. Believe it’s real and valuable. That it matters. Not because we are told that it matters. Not because we are lonely or afraid to be alone, but because we care deeply about someone or something. That someone could be ourselves, our kin. That something could be what’s in our heart, our community, our cause.
“Love your neighbor as yourself”. (Mathew 22:29-Mark 12:31)
It’s the second commandment of Christ. The first, of course, is Love the All Encompassing Organizing Principle of the Universe we call God. Then Love someone else as much as you Love yourself. Love yourself first, though. As much as you can. You can’t make Love last if you aren’t able to do what’s required first.
“Love never ends.” (1st Corinthians 13).
It’s biblical. It’s epic. It’s metaphysical. It’s a concept. But is it true? Maybe what’s left of Love that seems to have ended is the memory of it buried deep beneath the rubble of abandonment, rejection, neglect, apathy, change of heart, change of circumstance or even something horrific like abuse.
I once imagined that if I ever Loved someone, I always would. I wouldn’t quit. But maybe I only thought that I Loved and if pressed would be forced to admit that I was mostly addicted to the idea of Loving. Un-Love is something I’m more familiar with.
Here’s a thought I’ve been spinning around. Un-love is not the same as unrequited Love. Unrequited Love is heart wrenching, isn’t it? But it’s not the same as un-love. We can’t try to Love any more than we can try to be happy, try to meditate or try to believe in God. Love just is. We can’t make it happen and we can’t make it not happen when it does. When it does happen as we wish it’s grand. When it isn’t returned as we wish, no amount of trying or cajoling or begging or manipulation will make it be what it isn’t. We could take it personally, but it isn’t personal. Not really. It is what it is.
Un-love though, the opposite of love, is intentional. We decide it. We make it happen. We go against Love. We break the Law. We harm and are harmed by un-love. We don’t do the first thing. We don’t love ourselves. When we un-love someone or something, there’s just no way we can make Love last.
I’m with Mr. Robbins on this one. Let’s make Love first so that Love can last.