The many faces of love

Love’s  vistas are inexhaustible. But for all the ardency of love’s idealism and romance, it can only be taken as an act of faith.

To be ruled under the spell of love is to be ruled by the possibilities of the unknown.

Each encounter provides us with the opportunity to remake the past — it is said that it is a process, a destination in the suburbs of Eden.

You can’t legislate love, nor can one be expected to be educated in its realities — we simply allow ourselves to be romanced by its fantasies.

When terrible things are done in the name of love, or when love goes wrong, it could be the most intensely painful experience of a lifetime:  secrets, disappointments, betrayal, fantasies, losses, obsessions, even violence.

It is a treasure trove of memorable human experiences shared –  from humorous to horrific –  to enrich the life of anyone.

Atty. Alma Luna Reyes hosted the power table for 15 Valentine-less alpha women. They were tellers of tales of such force and quality, spinning their stories that Valentine’s night.

These disparate women spun stories and delivered anguished monologue; others gave some very nearly operatic, some with prayer-like words of thanksgiving about their beloved:  others rose and spoke of bewitchment and intoxication.

Their voices and language of love were manifold.  One  tale had the trappings of a lovesick escapee from an asylum.

I made mine poetry, in love with literature as well, yielding to Shakespeare’s quote: “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.”

For me, to love someone is to take on the myriad values that your beloved embodies (philosophy, literary, the erotic: figurative or allusion), embracing it with the abandon of a healthy pagan.

For the doctor (of letter), her account of love is pure illusion — love could only have a central setting: idyllic or catastrophic, or both!

Still, some of the more interesting “confessions” dealt with the magical and transforming properties of love — with an expansion of the heart taking gentler and more realistic guises, too.

For the charming pharmacist from Iloilo, the alchemy of love (she declared) converts poverty and disappointment, even failure into gold. It counts love as bewitching, for better or for worse.

Immigrant colleagues are still wearing the mantle of our puritan heritage: and it appears that love often happens in a foreign country.

An unforgettable grief could come from abroad, as if love were an exotic land itself. Love is always hopeful and can be tenacious, it can flourish even in arid or unlikely soil.

As they spoke of the time, the place and the loved one, others lamented specifically to the shadow side of love. In some context, to validate sad experiences, exploring a topic that intrigues and compels — in areas we often do not acknowledge.

They walked  in love’s shadow, until they found their way in that darkness –  seeing the beautiful and smelling the fragrant before they were able to move into the light again.

That night, we learned that not everyone’s life is what they make of it. Some of our lives are what other people made it to be.

Dramas of love that were staged at home, with some winding down and subsiding in a bittersweet tribute to divorce. We were shown that divorce is an honorable condition — tempering impatience and lightening despair.

What else do these stories have in common? Humor. Every storyteller seems to be saying that when all else fails ( or even when it doesn’t), comedy can be counted on for consolation, to soothe love’s fever.

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