Writers International Edition

On Valentine’s Day

I love you without knowing how, or when, or where from.
I love you straightforwardly, without complications or pride;
This is how I love you because I know no other way of loving than this:
But in this way in which neither I, nor you exist; so close that your hand
on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Pablo Neruda – 100 Love Sonnets

Love is the ultimate drive, the most powerful force in the whole universe, for, since the beginning of time, Love has been the driving force behind all creation – first and foremost, the creation of man himself. Ancient Greek philosopher, the first to delve into this existential issue being Hesiod, maintained the following depicting concepts, qualities and notions as gods. And the god of love was, of course, Eros:

According to the Hesiodic interpretation, the creation of the world is based on a divine trinity – Chaos, Gaia and Eros. Chaos pre-exists the other two, symbolizing the infinity of the universe. Gaia symbolizes the material side of the world. Finally, Eros symbolizes creation. Eros is the driving force. Without him, the primordial trinity would not have created the world, the gods and life. The reason he is winged is that he is elusive. When you think you have caught him, he slips away. Eros has no interest if you are in chaos or order. He is lonely and likes games. Throwing an arrow does not necessarily mean that a second will follow. Love unites, transforms and transforms what is seen. As long as you do not look for him, because he will disappoint you. He will find you and then all your chaos will make sense again.”[1]

It is indeed so! Love is the reason for our coming into this world, besides the force that helps sustain us in our everyday lives. When we surrender to love, we find a way of overcoming problems and worries, since sorrows that are shared with the beloved one are halved and joys shared are doubled. Love puts a permanent grin on our face, makes our eyes sparkle with a divine gleam, and sets our hearts on fire. If we surrender to love, our whole life makes sense, for it is the reason why we were born – to spread the light of love upon this planet. Loving another like your own self and even more is so difficult and easy at the same time, so bitter and sweet, so utterly rewarding for the soul. Selfless and unconditional love is unique and almighty! Love is the power that can even “move mountains”… Love is all someone needs to make everything shine wonderfully all around, and also make it through any difficult phase one may encounter. It is undeniably the essential element that leads to bliss. If not the sole one.

Among the sweetest and most profound quotes on Love, I hereby enclose some actual smidgens of wisdom and truth by the classical Masters of philosophy:

Those that are hardest to love, need it the most – Socrates

The madness of love is the greatest of heaven’s blessings – Plato

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies – Aristotle

and the famous quote by the ancient Greek Philosopher Plato, dedicated to poets across the world

“Αt the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet!”

Love for some people is a feeling, for others, it is a condition or a state; yet for some, it is a way of living. For them, life is what Wu Ti has said, namely “Not loving is like a long dying”; a life not worth living, one might add. Love should not be demonstrated only on one particular day, but throughout the whole year; all through one’s life. As for when real Love comes into one’s life, no one actually knows when one would feel the arrows of Love piercing their hearts, as Eros, the playful assistant of the goddess of Love and beauty, Aphrodite, plays his tricks. For some people Love comes too soon, for others a little later; for a few maybe a lot later. Yet when it finally does come, they all feel the same bitter-sweet pain and all suffer sweetly by the arrow-tip that has pierced their soul. And only one person can take away the pain, healing the wound: the only ONE.

If this is real Love, it is not only intense, but also profound, and destined to be eternal. On infinite and eternal Love a lot has been said and written all through the centuries all over the world. The symbols may vary, but they are undoubtedly diachronic and well-engraved in the collective mind. From the apple, the rose, and the sea shell in ancient Greek and later on in Roman mythology, the harp and the unbreakable Celtic love knot, the jasmine in the Himalayas, the Claddagh symbol in Norse mythology, the Kokopelli (musical instrument) in the native American culture, the maple leaf and the unbreakable red thread of fate in China and Japan, the Osram Ne Nsoromma (the symbol of a star and half moon) in West Africa, are among the most famous symbols of love across centuries; bearing witness of the infinite feelings and the pledge for eternal love to their precious one. One thing is certain, anyway, despite symbols and legends, which run through millennia: that between the beloved, no place, no time, or other boundaries are enough to make them part…

Volumes of literary works, from fairy tales to grandiose novels, have been written on princesses waiting for their princes, queens waiting for their kings or their knights to return from the battlefield, and ladies of the aristocracy courting in the palace gardens. The troubadours of the Middle Ages sang their love songs to their dames, Romeo and Juliet sacrificed themselves for their love, while whole cities were besieged and conquered in the name – or the pretext – of a woman’s love; or at least that is what Homer says on ancient Greek queen Helen and prince Paris of Troy. Equally, masterpieces were painted or sculpted in honour of Eros and the goddess Aphrodite…

Poetry is, anyway, the supreme Art, according to ancient philosophers. And what better way to express one’s innermost feelings than with a poem full of love and a kiss? Besides, as the saying goes, “in love and at war there simply exist no barriers”. And since we are humanitarians and advocates of world peace, let us all make the wish for all barriers to be taken down in the name of Love!

Prof. Irene Doura Kavadia

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