I happened to watch The Notebook last night. I should say early this morning, after I had finished a couple of writing assignments. It was well after 3am and although I could have easily gone to sleep, I just felt I'd rather watch a movie.
I enjoyed every bit of it. Every bit. The charm, the innocence, the longings, the desires, the laughter, the poetry, the scenery, the music, the beauty, the sadness, the thwarted affair.
No, no, that's not true. I did not enjoy the sadness and I certainly didn't enjoy the cruel turn of events nor the pain before its eventual resolution.
Oh, you might say that it was Hollywood doing what Hollywood does best - sell you a fistful of unrealistic dreams that you can lose yourself in for an hour or so. So what? What's the harm in losing yourself and all your stuffy and starchy beliefs and proclamations about the 'real' world if only for an hour of your life'?
As far as I'm concerned, nothing. Nothing at all. On the contrary, it might actually reignite your dying imagination, release you from your self-imposed exile from LIFE. True LIFE. Not the life that you've become conditioned into but the life that glows naturally within you like a flame that refuses to die no matter how hard you or anyone else tries to snuff it out.
Isn't this the reason why we are so drawn to such 'flights of fantasy'? Because they have an inimitable ring of truth to them? Because, surely, this is what we most desire? Because, let's be completely honest, this is what makes us happiest?
It might help you realize what it made me realize, or should I say, admit - that I do want that pure, shameless love, the kind that you would devote your life to. The kind that makes everything else pale into oblivion because it is so fulfilling, so nurturing, so life-giving, no needless of explanation or reasoning.
The reader of the notebook says, at one point, something to this effect:
I have not achieved anything of significance in my life. I haven't acquired fortunes or invented anything. I haven't done anything that might be considered noteworthy. But I believe I have fulfilled the purpose of my life because I have loved another so fully and completely.
I'm a bit of a cry babe. Typing that just brought a lump to my throat and the tears all but fell. For goodness sake, can there be a more beautiful purpose for one's life? I certainly can't think of any. And my confession today is that I do want to experience the complete joy and awe and pleasure and rapture and beauty and freedom of being so completely devoted to one other.
How Do I Love TheeHow do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
for the ends of Being and ideal Grace,
I love thee to the level of every day's
most quiet need, by sun and candle light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
in my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
with my lost saints,-I love thee with the breath,
smiles, tears, of all my life!-and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning