Love and Cupping Water

It strikes me that we can be with someone, have their love, and still never attain them. Human relationships are exactly that complex, and often end for reasons that have nothing to do with love or attraction. Maybe you don’t want the same things. Maybe you’re both too competitive, too extroverted, too shy, too neurotic, too poor. And somehow, these differences (and similarities) disallow people from having each other.

We want to believe, of course, that love allows us to transcend such obstacles. But it isn’t actually love itself that overcomes. We personify love, but – in fact – love is a passive object. Instead, it is what you believe about love, and what you are willing to do and accept and overlook for it, that decides its narrative. And it’s as much about what you are aware of as it is what you ignore and forget.

To me, holding onto love is like trying to cup water with just one hand – you can feel it, you can even momentarily capture it. But no matter how tightly you push your fingers together, no matter how you tilt your hand to get the proper angle and curvature, it will spill out the side and escape between the cracks you can’t seal. And when the moment comes to scoop and try again – do you? How many times before you’re just going through the motions, demoralized by your inability to hold on to it, knowing that you never will?

How many of us are willing to be condemned to the afterlife of Sisyphus?


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