Love consists not in gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction... Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I don't quite recall what it is I said to her but it can't have been the answer she was looking for. It can't have been a good answer either because to answer such a monumental question a man needs to give it quite a bit of consideration; something that is rather hard to explain on the spur of a moment in which any answer other than a simple yes or no will not do. Not without him appearing to be elusive. And yet, a yes, while being the more desirable answer, would only amount to a deceptive reassurance.... and perhaps a short-lived reprieve until some doubt crept in there and forced the question out again and this time a simple yes would most likely not work.
So, being of sane mind and body... I most likely said no with the hope that it would buy me some time as I sought out the real answer. I say likely because I truly don't recall if I did indeed say so and if I did, if I went on to explain that no. Did I tell her that 'love' for me was about as ambiguous as 'God'. That while I did not believe that he doesn't exist, that I don't really know what to believe.
Is love for instance a verb, noun, adjective or all of them? I know I love my mother dearly and would do anything for her...... right? And yet, I will not call her as often as she'd like me to call her. Most of my life I have rebelled, gone against her bidding and really been at logger heads with her; yet, I do believe I love her more than I love anybody else.
I also have friends who I don't nearly love as much, if at all, that I will call and talk to on a daily basis. People who I go to pains to remain agreeable with. So, do I really love my mother?
That is parental love... Perhaps that is different. Probably not what was meant when the question was asked but I think it goes a long way to explain my stance in the matter.
I hate to admit it now but for the longest time I believed in love at first sight... Actually, the idea of it appealed to me.... a lot. I dreamt of it happening to me, and a few times it materialized..... several times in fact. I have written about it here and here before..... And here is an account of the last time it happened. I bring this up because love as packaged by Hollywood and Hallmark, is an exclusive feeling that supposedly targets a single being - soul mate, who in return targets you with this same feeling. You'll tell me that it's not so simple and of course you will be right; Nothing is ever that simple.
For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Personally I like to think of love as a gift given to me by a benevolent giver - say the good Lord; or hardwired into my psyche over the billions of years it took for me to evolve, take your pick. An ability to care enough for somebody as to overlook their humanness; afterall, to be human is to err.
Like I once told Kellie, I love without conditions.... and that I think is as close to what I believe about love as my limited vocabulary will ever get. I have loved a lot, and continue to love to this day. It gets difficult when those that I love want me to define my love for them; even more so when they want to define it for me. It gets worse when they decide that my love is theirs and want to take possession of it. Very difficult.... but still I love.
Now, of being in love, which is what I think Cecii meant when she posed that question, I really don't know. I wouldn't accuse anyone of lying if they told me they were in love, but if it's anything like I felt in the instances referenced above, then that for me is too fleeting to be real.
So, do I believe in love? I really don't know if I do. I'd like to think that one day I'll find this woman who I'll fall madly and deeply in love with.... only question is, what then, will I do with all this other love. Do I stop loving others simply because I am now loving the one? Will the others understand that destiny has to have it's way?