I recently read an interview with a writer who said that she far preferred fictional love stories to real life. The longer I live, the more I agree with that sentiment. I guess that’s why some people write, and some people read, and some people do both. And some people are really, really lucky, and make real life out of a love story. Their own personalised love story. Which lasts throughout their lives. One love, one heart. I wish they could write a How to do it book for the less fortunate ones.
Why do some people manage it, and others don’t? I mean this tricky business called Love. And Faith. Constancy. Durability. Sticking it out through thick and thin. Is it to do with promises, and keeping them? Is that really all it is, at rock bottom? Not just finding the right person, but keeping the promises you make to each other? Although I guess finding the right person helps. No point in keeping promises to someone who turns out to be a psychopath.
From an early age we’re taught about promises. And as we grow older, they multiply.
- Promise me you’ll be a good boy / girl
- Promise me you’ll try harder
- Promise me you’ll keep in touch
- Promise me you’ll give me a call
- Promise me you’ll love me till death us do part.
Ah, that’s the tricky one! Any use of the ‘L’ word is always tricky. It’s bandied about so easily, so casually, coupled together with promises … but at the end of the day, to take a quote from the Do Re Mi song in The Sound of Music: ‘It doesn’t mean anything!’
Too bloody right. When we profess our love and devotion, and then one of us wanders off into the specious sunset, what can we do? What can we do when all is silence?
Romantic love. Why is it so hard to get it spot on?
We love our children, if we’re fortunate enough to have them. We love our parents – though at times that can be debated. We love our best friends. We love our pets. And we want the love we feel to last forever. Sometimes we even fool ourselves into thinking it will last forever.
Forever? Another conundrum. For some of us, the word ‘forever’ is anathema. A malediction. An imposter to language. Something that should be banned from all dictionaries forever and ever. Oops! That’s the trouble – we’re addicted to the promise of forever from such an early age, we just can’t get it out of our system. Like promises.
I’m increasingly beginning to feel that I prefer the love of a good book. A good book can truly last forever, not using words carelessly, and not breaking any promises.
But no, I’m not going to allow myself to plunge into negativity. It’s Sunday, the sun is shining down on my cosy garden here in Krakow, the birds are singing, the butterflies are dancing in the air, and I’m here, alive and well, able to be a part of it all. And anyway, what’s the point in self-pity, when I too have been a perpetrator of broken promises, of lack of appreciation, of inadvertently causing pain to others? We’re all guilty of it, at some point or another in our lives. Aren’t we? Let he who is without sin … it takes two to tango … it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other …
Clichéd quotes, but so true, so true.
Why can’t we keep the promises we make? Why can’t we hold on to the love we profess? And when we blunder, why do we find it so hard to say I’m sorry and start all over again?
Almost a year ago, I wrote a special blog post. It was the first time I’d felt truly happy since Hubby No. 2 and I broke up the previous autumn. I’d struggled through ten months of sorrow … and then Hope came back into my life. I wish I could re-live the beautiful promise of that dream. I wish I could catch it in a butterfly’s net and never let it go.
But I think it’s already flown away.