Love is really a simple thing. It’s so simple that we miss it all the time.
We’re too busy living in our heads. This makes us believe that love is something other than it actually is. We’ll say that love is about intimacy, agreement, or consistency—and if we are a true hopeless romantic, then we’ll say that love is suffering. This is just the mind. The only thing that’s obvious to me about love is that it’s not something we can hold onto or bring about through force of will. It must come spontaneously.
Have you ever had one of those amazing nights where it feels like the entire universe is supporting us? Maybe we’ll be having a bonfire on a summer evening with some close friends, or we’ll be going to the house of a girl we recently met for the first time. There’s just something in the air, ya know? Something feels really good about this, like we’re a part of the movement of life instead of a separate entity. It’s like we’re connected with being itself.
When I can sense this connection, I feel such great love for everyone and everything. It’s so powerful that it feels like nothing can take it away. Oneness with reality calls upon an unconditional affection for all of life. That’s love, I would say—or something like that.
Virginia Woolf is one of my all-time favorite writers. What I’m realizing as I read her masterpiece To The Lighthouse for the second time is the reason she’s so incredibly captivating is that there’s nothing superfluous or meaningless in her world. She recognizes the underlying field of consciousness in which all thoughts and feelings come from—and nothing slips by without a thorough description and a sense of importance. Nothing is without significance to her. She captures the moment for all of us to behold.
There’s a quote on love in the book that gave me the desire to write about this—here it goes:
“They became part of that unreal but penetrating and exciting universe which is the world seen through the eyes of love. The sky stuck to them; the birds sang through them. And, what was even more exciting, she felt, too, as she saw Ms. Ramsay bearing down and retreating, and Mrs. Ramsay sitting with James in the window and the cloud moving and the tree bending, how life, from being made up from little separate incidents which one lived one by one, became curled and whole like a wave which bore one up with it and threw one down with it, there, with a dash on the beach.”
Virginia Woolf, ladies and gentlemen.
Life goes from feeling separate, isolated, and like an infinite fragmentation of moments, into something whole, complete, and unified—as though the invisible bridge between all of these tiny fragmentary moments became known to us. We see how everything is one. That’s a pretty good way of thinking about love.
Love is simple; we’re complicated. Don’t complicate love. It’s subtle, but not complicated. We’ve all felt it. We all have experienced the feeling. If we want to know love, either in a relationship or within oneself, it’s a good idea to look through the eyes of Virginia Woolf and acknowledge the limitless potential and infinite meaningfulness of all seemingly mundane moments. The truth is, nothing is so mundane that it’s not worth our attention. Boredom is of the mind. Love is of the soul.
It’s nice to sit out alone in nature and let your eyes adjust to the silent dance of earth. That’s where I feel most at home, and where the connection to life is revitalized. The clarity of nature is the root of love.