The Art of Loving

I’m getting oh so cybercool I’m starting to amaze myself. Just scanned this image. I found a piece of newspaper on February 14th blowing in the wind, while taking Tottie for her walk. It was burned along one side in what looked like a heart shape and as you can see it had an appropriate story to tell. I love these serendipitous findings. I have chosen it to illustrate this post because I want to muse on the matter of loving.

Erich Fromm had a lot to say on the subject in the 60’s and so I have taken him off the shelf for the first time in years. Straight to the back of course, which those of you who know me well will know it is a bad habit of mine. There I find the words:- while one is consciously afraid of not being loved, the real, though unconscious fear, is that of loving. As he points out loving means committing oneself without guarantee. It is an act of faith, like falling asleep is an act of faith. I can do it. I have done it but the question is do I want to do it again?

Two men have this week commented that I am not as happy in my solitary state as I reckon I am. It has shaken me a little. I have been pondering that state ever since. Fromm argues that love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence, as it is the ultimate and real need in every human being.

This week I have faced up to the fact that there is in my solitary life an absence, not of love but of loving. The practice is no longer there on a daily basis and I think that this may be a lack. All I will say is that I am addressing it. Since Giles left my life, I have been doing other things, including the grieving of possibilities. Now the spring sunshine has brought back new buds of possibility. I have bought myself some slim fitting jeans and a pot of Neal’s Yard Frankincense Cream. It is not as easy as it was to find a companion to share one’s life. He would have to be content to be quiet, to be a reader, a music lover, to love dogs and to have the space in his heart to grow to love me. And I would have to find something in him to tip the scale in  favour of love, for I have a rich life as it is. Yet I am human and the thought of sharing and loving in the dusky years ahead is attractive, if that is the way it is to be. It is not at this stage about my choices (though I have the power of veto of course) but rather what is still left of my soul’s contract in this life.

 I have learned to love myself. Now, if that is the way it is to be, I am ready to learn to love another. Do you hear that Universe? Over to you.

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