Rob Bell says that “Love wins.” But , Amy Winehouse says that “Love is a losing game“, and that feels right to me.
Love necessitates a loss; a losing of a kind. A loss of self. A loss of ego. A loss of hubris. A loss of pride. The things that are not “part of love’s equation,” David Brooks says. Things best substracted without remainder. Best canceled, best buried, best released.
Love is a loss of safety and foreseeable guarantees. “To love at all”, says C.S. Lewis, is to be vulnerable”. To be laid open, prone and bare. Exposed to hope, and want, and heat, and winter, without a vow of sheathing or defense. If it offers an oath of anything, it is the promise of a heart that will be halved and likely broken. And yet, this is “the ultimate mystery of love”, Slavoj Zizek says, that “incompleteness is, in a way, higher than completion”, that “Only a lacking…being is capable of love”.
Love defies our logic and rationale. It’s the right person in the wrong place, at the wrong time, for all the right reasons. It’s letting go of all our objections. Loving them reckless. Regardless of the hazards that will surely be incurred. A dream of light, shining across 8000 thousand miles of darkness and sea. It makes perfect sense in that it makes no sense. And yet, there it is, glistening. Proof that when it comes to the inexplicable mystery of love, all our cumulative knowledge amounts to precisely fuck-all.
The one thing that we do know, David Sedaris says, is that “When the wind picks up and the floodwaters rise…you’d give anything”, give up everything, “to make that other person stop hurting”, if only just for a little while. We’d keep giving, and losing, and giving. Giving-up, letting-go, giving-in. Again and again. “On and on”, Sedaris says, “Then on and on and on.” Forever, hopefully. Until, finally, love wins.