Question: What is a better way to love? To preserve beauty and perfection through abstinence of engagement or love fully and without restraint which can damage the object of your love beyond repair?
Let me tell you the story of a journal. As journals go it’s probably not the most impressive in the world, but I tell you, to me it is one of the most beautiful books I own. And I own a lot of books.
It is thick with a certain weight to it without being heavy, with that lovely thick paper you’d expect to find in a really good art book, the magical sort of stuff that’s halfway between creamy and textured.
The covers were and still are the best bit, coloured a deep purple and seemingly bound with some type of cloth. And it has that special thing done where the cover is stuffed or some such to make it all puffed up. Embossed into this front cover there was a beautiful tree accompanied by the word ‘Journal’ in swirling mystical typeface and this quote:
There are few greater marvels than the written word
It can divide nations and break down walls
It can motivate and inspire us to accomplish our dreams and inspirations
And it can record the most profound ideas and perspectives.
Inside these covers my fantastic friend who gifted me the journal (I love getting books as gifts) had transcribed her message at the front and an amazing array of quotes on the back covers and for me, these were what gave the special significance to this book.
Now for about three years I left this journal untouched. I perhaps wrote in it twice. Just small notes, nothing important. I was afraid ruin it, to damage the beauty and perfection of this book.
So I didn’t use it, out of fear and reverence. Until earlier this year when I decided I would like to write a journal and that this was the perfect book.
Thus I began using it. It was a beauty and a pleasure to write in and I took as much care as I could when transcribing my life within its pages. But late nights ensued from the University semester and so I came to taking the journal with me in the mornings if in the nights I was too tired to write anything more than a few merge lines.
It was about two weeks ago that I first noticed the corners, that they had been rubbing on my bag as I came and went around the place and the purple had been slowly erased from existence. The more I looked the further I saw the extent of the damage, the pages bent around the corners, a dint in the cover, a scratch on the back, tiny tearing and crumpling on the ends of the pages.
Amazing how it was always on the edges, the corners, the ends that the damage happened.
Perhaps we as humans do the same when we love a person. We can either choose to lock who we love away and never interact with them or we can live and love and know that we will cause damage, we will wear down their corners but in return we fully experience the love they have to give – we get to live life with them and even though that life wears away at them – tiny but by tiny bit we get to experience their true nature and love them as fully as we can and be loved fully in return.
Love is a process. Its a state of being wrapped up in emotion, tangled with action and doused in an overactive imagination that makes dreams so vivid they’re almost real. Love is complicated, as are the people it comes from and it has the very real ability to make or ruin days, weeks, years or lives. It is innately powerful because of the grip is has on the soul and sanity of humanity and yet more often than not we see people talking love for granted and even more destructively – taking those people and thing that they love for granted. I suppose it’s here – where love is undervalued or reciprocated that we see the greatest display of its wear and tear on people.
There’s always a little wearing away of the edges in love – what we commonly refer to as growing together – falling into the same rutienes each day – knowing each nuance of the other’s personality. And that is good.