The Making of a Mistress 6. The Lovers

What Calvin, my boyfriend of three years, and I had was love. No doubt about it. It is too easy, looking back, to discount the validity of past feelings, to write them off as childish or irrelevant, because of a painful end. But love, if it ever was love – and it was – never becomes irrelevant. If the passion smolders out, it simply transforms into something else, something that lingers – indefinitely – on the mind, heart and fingertips with the tenacity of Bismuth. Time reducing, but never really erasing it.

But there are many flavours of love. According to the Greeks, 7. Eros – the love of the body, Philia – the love of the mind, Ludus – playful love, Pragma – longstanding love, Agape – love of the soul, Philautia – love of the self and storge – love of the child. The problem is while each of us as human beings hungers for most, if not all of these loves – no one person or situation can meet them And still we try. A declaration of love quickly becomes a paper basket for our expectations and we wonder why it tears. We fall in love with a person for who they are in that moment and draw our strings tighter when they deign to branch off in new directions. There is, of course, a beauty to Bonsai, but life that is so clipped and restrained is tangibly weak compared to the splendor of its natural form, with all its twists, scars and oddities. And of course, a work like that takes time and effort to maintain. So when the effort slips, the little gestures of validation fade – perhaps the bonsai wonders why its a bonsai at all. Perhaps that’s when it simply, quietly dies…

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