The Paradox of Love

Love is, above all, the gift of oneself” – Jean Anouilh
 “Love lives at the intersection of desire and resolve; with expression for a drive-way” – Imisi

How would you define a moment? Wait a second! Let’s back things up a little bit. Imagine that you’re running for a very prestigious post (say President) and your running mate is named “D. Clock”. Now, imagine also that at the make-or-break presidential debate, you face the trick question “How would you define a moment?”. What would you say? Oh! You’re asking me the same question? That’s pretty tough – but this is what I would do:  I would walk over confidently to my running mate and say “this one’s for you”. Why? Only “The Clock” can accurately define time!

Some moments feel like they have lasted forever while others feel like hair-strands of a second – yet a clock might define them as exactly equal. It’s like sitting for a boring lecture; one hour feels like two days. Conversely, a lovely movie is always too short! Some moments are forgotten before they are even over; others linger on forever in the mind. Speaking of moments, one ranks miles ahead of the others in my head – remaining forever indelible like the pain of a first tattoo for all the nights that brought that day; for all the pains that helped define true strength; for the many failures that taught me what success really meant; for all the wrong reasons to do the right things; for all the sweet memories of an unseen future and for that one human that made angels feel ordinary. Yes, it was the moment I discovered we were bound together in love!

It felt like a mad rush of something sane. My heart raced like a turbo-charged automobile at the hands of an aggressive driver. My head felt unusually far from my feet and its veins pulsated like an island hit by tremours. I could have sworn I had goosebumps – except I couldn’t feel my skin. Time stood still, seemingly losing its substance. I was completely lost in the moment. It didn’t matter where I was. It didn’t matter what was in the box which the future put my name on! My entire being was sucked into that one moment. I tried to freeze it, earnestly praying it would last ten eternities. Why shouldn’t it? It was all pleasure; it was all joy – but it was just a moment! One sure thing about moments: they fly – and this was no exception!

Love, like all good things in life, comes at a price – though one which pales greatly next to the prize. Little wonder, over time, I’ve learnt to add “sacrifice” to “pleasure” in my definition of love. I soon realized that calling her an angel was, above all else, A LIE – she was human: non-celestial and mortal; flesh and blood! And, if I was going to love her, it would have to be with all her (previously-concealed) flaws! “Love me love my dog” – but not all dogs are easy to love! You might love her to the death – but how about her little idiosyncrasies? How about those little challenges that beset mere mortals like us? It takes something special to get through those nights when he snores like a distressed paper-shredder – and still wake up smiling. It takes fortitude to say (and act like) she’s beautiful – though you mistook her for her grandmother {sorry, ma} a short while ago! You’ll need inner strength to ignore the fact that he’s eternally pregnant – and isn’t really keen on losing it! Nothing worthy comes easy. Attraction is cheap; beauty is trivial {a few thousand dollars of facials and implants and you’re “good”} but resolve is guaranteed to get us through those low points. Take celebrity marriages as case-study: cute, rich, talented – but married five times in four years!

A while ago, a chic left me fuming to a friend. “If she ever does it again, it’ll be the last time …..”. She cut my ranting off half-way with “Do you love her?”. Silly me! It took the better part of five seconds to realize it was a rhetorical question – and a lot can be said in five seconds. I paused at the sudden discovery that love is worryingly akin to selective amnesiaa conscious decision to overlook wrong; a shallow memory of ills, completely engulfed by visions of unending bliss. Love is not in a frame; nor is it in a face. It definitely isn’t in a phrase. Gone are the days when “I love you” ranked next to a full solar eclipse in frequency and quality. Now, it’s more of a gambit – an opening act; as it has become common-knowledge that some of us are audio-dependent by genetic wiring. Love is not under the sheets; neither is it behind the truck! There’s no point in unprofessed love. Yet, love is not expression.

More often than not, it seems the moment we start to love someone, they get better at hurting us. They begin to take us for granted. But love is like a young plant; feeding it the same rations everyday will only leave it distressed and stunted. For the plant to grow, the rations also must! Love is an endless battle against the “many-fishes-in-the-ocean” background noise. “There are many other girls out there. I’ll try again”, “I have feelings for him but he doesn’t meet my standards”, “I like her a lot – but she’s too short!”. Love is a gift – and like the greatest gifts in life, it’s appreciated most by the least deserving!

Desire and resolve must be well balanced on the pivot of the mind for love to survive. Love is not sub-conscious attraction. Love is not a mistake. Love is not a vain disposable feeling. Love is not convenience. Rather, it is that inexplicable motivation to remain forever true – in spite of the many opposing reasons. Love keeps you going when all else fails. Love is endless devotion.

Love cannot be rationalized. Sometimes, love hurts – but love endures; love grows and, in time, love conquers all.


*Specially dedicated to Honey Nubi (for “mischievous” reasons best known to both of us.) / Don’t ask don’t tell!

This entry was posted in Attraction, Desire, Devotion, Honey Nubi, Love, Moments, Resolve and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to The Paradox of Love

  1. Anonymous says:

    this swept me off my feet, nice piece imisi. couldnt help reading it all over again.idee

  2. Jaycee says:

    I'll be back to read this and absorb it. He he…

  3. Imisi says:

    @ID: Yixe! Thanx so very much.@Jaycee: Thanx oh! It'll be right here when you return!

  4. Anonymous says:

    my high point:Attraction is cheap; beauty is trivial, but resolve is guaranteed to get us through those low is worryingly akin to selective amnesia.There’s no point in unprofessed love. Yet, love is not expression.dude dis is really lovely, neva knew u write so well…..keep it up brov. its lovely!! -tola

  5. Honey says:

    I actually think I'm going to cry. I am seriously amazed at wht u do mehn.Thank you for honoring my request! 🙂 I am a very happy bunny.

  6. Imisi says:

    @Tola: Thanx, bro. I'm truly honoured@Honey: Ahw! Pls don't cry. Thanx. You're welcome – anyday!

  7. niyoto says:

    what a nice piece on the subject:love. but u know what,quite a lot of people are aware that the road is full of potholes but they still go at 140mph…well,it's something that will take forever to demystify bcos man's(woman too) heart is desperately wicked, who can know says the scriptures.MAY GOD TEACH US ALL TO LOVE.—once again,kudos!!!

  8. This is obviously coming from two places: foresight and a measure of experience…. I'd say I've been seen more frequently at the latter than the former, so viewing the world's most abused emotion from the perspective of someone who has lingered in the former place is like a blast of fresh air in a crowded lecture theatre. Awesome.

  9. phurler says:

    dis is so awesome bruv, come to tink of it, we all fall in luv sometymes bt we fight against it…

  10. Imisi says:

    @Niyoto: Great insight! Plus, the speed-pothole illustration is very easy to relate to (on naija levels…lol). May God teach us all. Thanx@Ore: Thanx a lot. Lol @ "the world's most abused emotion" – but it's eerily true!@Phurler: Much better to fight for it than against it…lol. Thanx a zilli

  11. Jaycee says:

    One thing that caught my eye when I was reading this was, "Love, like all good things in life, comes at a price."And then you spoke about NOT calling her an angel because she had non-celestial flaws. I really liked that. Everyone wants a smooth sailing in their relationship, we forget that we're all human beings undoubtedly filled with all sorts of flaws. If we say we love another, we must be willing to love them 100%, despite any flaws…easier said than done though, but very doable (experience…he he).

  12. Myne Whitman says:

    Love cannot be rationalized. Sometimes, love hurts – but love endures; love grows and, in time, love conquers all.I love this write-up but more especially the opening quote and the paragraph before the one above. You're right the word is often mis used these days but without the decision to keep it going to the end, it usually flounders. Well written article, I got the link from Jaycee on FB.

  13. Imisi says:

    @Jaycee: Thanx for coming back as you promised. I draw genuine inspiration from your kind of experience. Thanx also for sharing the link! cc @Myne@Myne: WOW! Thanx. Just found ur spot – and I'm gonna follow it PRONTO!

  14. ARGHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Imisi, from now on, I will start calling you 'Love Mentor'. You fashioned this one wella no be small. I was buried on the inside of it till I got to the last full stop. "One sure thing about moments: they fly – and this was no exception!" Remembering flashes of times you wish lasted forever. Memoirs of glows that leaves the mind giggling like a baby. Oh love… the truth is, mine aint memories that have faded… they are here with me. I am in love and I know it. I often say, losing her is like losing a billion dollar lottery, I may never get rich again. I so love this post and like Jaycee… I might come back again for more feeding. hahah- LDP

  15. olumide says:

    they say, get married. If it's good u'll be happy, if not, u'll be a philosopher. This is a great write up indeed. Keep up the good work Imisi, and live up to its demands in your conduct… same applies to every reader, especially to me. Hope you read your Bible today. I only will like to add that Love is actually a person, not just an emotion like we all think. The feelings we have are only pointers to us that we are creatures of love indeed and initially made of the person called Love.

  16. Imisi says:

    @LDP: You are my mentor oh! Thanx a lot. Pls work hard to keep it going oh!@Loomie: LWKMD! Philosopher ke? lol. I will do my best – remembering that much is expected from he to who much is given. I did oh! Thanx a lot for caring!

  17. marian assin says:

    u made me cry. beautiful seems like an understatement so i'll just leave it at…speechless.

  18. darol2020 says:

    so so vry true….dis is strong man!

  19. Imisi says:

    @Marian: Ahw! pls don't cry – or you just might make me cry too!@darol2020: Thanx.

  20. Nike says:

    "Desire and resolve must be well balanced on the pivot of the mind for love to survive.""love is worryingly akin to selective amnesia – a conscious decision to overlook wrong; a shallow memory of ills, completely engulfed by visions of unending bliss."this is very beautiful.still taking it in….nice work!!cheers! 🙂

  21. Imisi says:

    @Nike: Thank you so very much!

  22. Moninuola says:

    Love as I know is the strongest emotion humans can feel. It can also be a way of life if the definition for it given in the Book is considered. Love can take many forms ranging from erotic to agape to brotherly etc. Most forms of love are based on feelings but one is not. That is what is defined as agape love. Love can be as strong as Death in the words of David and at least it is not rare for life to be given out in love. Agape love cannot be hurt by definition but all others can. Knowledge of the classes of love may help in handling difficult love hazards.

  23. Imisi says:

    @Fola: My Prof! Another deep one! Thanx a ton

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