Peace all,

As we all know, house-guests and visitors come and go, what remains is the dusty furniture, creaking floor, and of course, us. Greying away in our brittle abode, stumbling back and forth on a rocking chair, staring lifelessly at the fire-place (no, I am not depressed!). We also had a guest on this blog last week who, rather unconventionally, left us something behind. A post which raises interesting philosophical and physiological questions. But if his post was to match the house described above, it would resemble something of a half-built sofa. Providing a much needed resting place, before leading to an embarrassing fall if comforted on unsparingly. It was a post which enticed as much as it provoked. Providing a spot for reflection, before pulling the carpet from under our feet and leaving us dazed. GuestRambler would not be shocked to hear, that me, along with my readers, would like to see him finish what he started. Like half a beautiful painting, only the original artist can adequately apply the finishing strokes. GuestRambler – we keep you to your word.

Moving on, what interesting events and occurrences unfolded this week? One pressing ‘occasion’ does come to mind. Good ol’ Valentine’s Day. Every year, on the 14th of the 2nd, the final tattered remains of our values and analogies regarding love are dealt another severe blow, which coupled with post-modern divorce and co-habitation rates, blast our little remaining credibility on this matter into a vacuum of nothingness.

In my personal, and humble opinion (which I admit to be rife with immaturity and inexperience on the subject matter), the very notion of Valentine’s Day is an apt representation of our philosophy regarding love. The very idea of compartmentalizing the notion of love or responsibility is indicative of our shortcomings. The view that one can compress accountability into bite-sized chunks is fraught with skewed representations that our environment drills into us. Magazines, movies and the internet have perfected the idea of romance into a marketable product and stamped it with the ‘Tesco Value’ brand. It now waits for us in the aisles of expensive wedding brochures and ‘dream get-aways’.

One must wonder whether such pressure has done anything but decree ‘true love’ to be unobtainable. The glossy magazines have painted over the rough edges of marriage and relationships, which we as a society are increasingly incapable of dealing with. This might possibly be fuelling our dependency on ideas such as Valentine’s Day, which seek to capsulize expectations which are increasingly unrealistic.

Let’s not kid ourselves – there is a problem. Currently, 34% of marriages in the UK are ending in divorce. That is one in every three couples, i.e. for every three people within your social circle – there will be one divorce. Will you be one of them? Certainly, none of us are magically immunized. Scary thought. To further accentuate, 49% of these divorcees have at least one child. Indeed, we are not discussing an issue which effects in isolation. The epicentre of this problem might be at home, but the aftershocks are resonated across the different facets of society. The good thing about facts is that they (usually) leave less to be argued. With figures like those quoted above – it’s obvious there is a problem. What is the solution? I could not tell you a general one. What I can ascertain, is that it won’t resemble anything close to the modern laws of affinity which currently predicate our thoughts.

Personally, I think we seem to be in love with an ideology, out of which we expect an individual to sprout. Should it not be the other way around? Should our ‘better-half’ not solidify and help blossom our definition of love? Is the journey not in greater importance than the destination? Should an individual fit the lines of a predetermined blueprint – or instead help us design a distinct structure of living which encapsulates a place where twin desires, wants, hopes and dreams meet, rather than collide? I know my choice.

Do acts of romance or love need to be done in isolation? Should they be? Undoubtedly, such deeds exist not in solitude within healthy marital relationships, but rather in a mosaic set of challenging circumstances, which equilibrate to fit the notion of love. It is a much deeper bond, not based upon love for the self or the desire for a zenith experience, similar to that portrayed by Hollywood, but rather supplemented by the willingness to sacrifice, compromise and ultimately love for another.

Let’s keep our feet on the ground and build a criterion of expectations which are not only manageable, but also healthy and attainable. Let’s not construct Utopian ideologies of love which 90 minute movies, 30 second ads and 100 word articles have suddenly made plausible. Such lapses of perfection are only obtainable once every year (Valentine’s Day?). The higher the peak from which you aimlessly seek to fly, the greater the hurt upon your inevitable fall.

This article is not to taint or downplay the concept of love; rather, I find it to be the most important ingredient for a purposeful life. From our unrelenting love for God, to that love which breathes life into our ability to sacrifice, compromise and romance – it is vital. Although to fully utilise the potential of love, we must source it from the right place, and nourish it with the right expectations, lest it turn into a flickering flame, blown out by the winds of speculation and alchemic desires.

Until then, I certainly won’t be falling for Cupid’s arrows, which are laced with nothing but sprinkles of glamour, dopamine and some cheap caster sugar.

Apologies for the long post – hope you guys soldiered through to the end. I’ll leave you with the following:

Treat love not like alchemy – for you don’t fantasise about the real. Let it foster in a frictionless place within your mind, where the want is dissolved, and the will blossoms. Seek not to undermine this place, for a tiny heart can hold the grandeur of God, and through our diminutive eyes, we behold the entire world.

– ZK

Peace, ‘love’, and with the Will of God – have a great week.