I’ve been told that I have a lot to say. I may as well start saying it.
I have been under a rock for a long time, and have just recently begun catching up on movies that I’d wanted to see when they were in theatres, but didn’t have the opportunity to at the time. I just finished watching Moulin Rouge starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. In the film, Ewan plays a writer who’s obsessed with love, and writing about love.
At first blush, this fascination appears to be the youthful idealism that one learns, very painfully, is an illusion, false hope, and childish fantasy. How many people survive into adulthood without going through the first heartbreak that seems to hurt so badly one’ truly believes one’s heart will stop beating? The tears seem to turn to fire, burning your eyeballs until you’re truly astonished to see anything-ever-again. Your chest feels like a half-ton boulder has been surgically implanted on it and you can’t breathe, you can’t move, your ribcage actually feels like it’s crushing everything it’s there to protect. You completely and unequivocally lose your will to live.
Then you wake up one day and realize that you ARE still alive. And for the first time since the heartbreak happened, you’re grudgingly appreciative that your ribcage didn’t crush your internal organs, the boulder didn’t crush your chest, and the fire tears stopped burning. If that’s not inspiration to write, I don’t know what is.
You loved, you lost, you learned not to ever let that happen again. Rational survival instinct-the stuff that makes a kid who burns his hand on a hot stove not touch the hot stove again. But something about that hot stove holds such a fascination, has such a mind-bending pull over you that you can’t help reaching out again. BURN!
THAT is about the stupidest thing any human could ever do. But we do it. Over and over and over…and over some more. Why? Is it because we have this fundamental need to ensure survival of the species? With over seven billion people on this planet, that theory doesn’t hold much water anymore. Is it true that, as an old Greek myth says, every heart is pulled in two prior to a person’s birth, so each heart is eternally searching for it’s other half? Nice to think about, but…
So those who have been lucky enough to get over the whole love, hurt, heal wheel of doom-it could happen-and have found love that makes one feel completely invincible-what then? That story needs to be told, too. The reason we get burned so badly is because we believe in all the things that make humanity, well, human. Love makes a man step in front of a bullet in the hope that he will take the shot meant for the woman he loves. Love makes a woman throw the object of her love out of the way of a moving car to save his live-knowing full well she’ll likely give hers as a consequence.
Love makes a boy risk the hellfire-and-brimstone wrath of a girl’s father because he can’t see a reason for living if he can’t be with her. A girl will leave everything she’s ever known, all stability and security in her life, all her friends and family, and everything she owns to move across the country to follow his dream, job, opportunity, whatever the case may be-because all those things mean nothing if she can’t be with him. These are the times you feel your soul has wings and there’s nowhere you can’t go-nothing you can’t do. Your heart thumps in your chest and every heartbeat feels as if it’s the thundering hooves of a prize-winning racehorse pounding every possible problem into dust.
That feeling-the heart-racing, invincible, mind-altering euphoria-is the drug of humanity, and there is no cure. No antidote, no counterdrug, no antidrug, no substitute. While it hurts so much and seems to last so long, the heartrending anguish suffered, repeatedly for most of us, is an acceptable price to pay for that glimmer of hope that we will again feel the all-consuming, utterly euphoric, supremely empowering feeling of true love.