Nothing Like the Sun

I am told that I am an incurable romantic. I am not sure exactly what this means for practical applications - after all, I am perfectly aware of how to be married for 20 years - and I am fairly clear on what one needs to do in that context. I did not say I knew how to do it correctly, but I am not certain that there is one set way to have a relationship that stands the test of time. However, I am certain that love can continue through years. Decades.

I know this for a fact.

I have always felt that love is best measured along the lines of Shakespeare's Sonnet 120 - which some have said , is his sonnet that many refer to as against the romantics. "My Mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun.. coral is far more red than her lips' red ". As a man, I am susceptible to timeless beauty - I have seen it. But it is beauty without artifice. Honestly, I can't think of anything more of a turn-off than a poorly done boob job -true beauty shines through almost anything - any physical form, age, or vision. I am smart enough to realize this without having some kind of illusion passed before me, as part of it. So that part of romance can be kind of strange, around me. I think.

I am never sure of a woman's actual hair color and I quietly wonder how a woman can look hotter than she did at age 20, when she's in fact, secretly in her 40's. I'm much more of a person that believes this is something everyone can do, and men just do poorly - than it is some mystical thing that disappears at sunrise. This is likely the reason why my ex-girlfriend could never fit me into a category that she could easily dispense. Love isn't based on illusions as much as it is a way to bathe hard reality by an invisible light. Love is best when it sees clearly. Just because I sing under your window at night, doesn't mean I'm not actually looking up your and even then it doesn't mean I don't enjoy the view.

It came as a great suprise to me today to learn that perhaps the basis of this form of romance is fear. But it seemed to make sense. After all, I don't consider myself a great romantic but I do consider myself very good at facing fear. At least, passably good.

I say this with some basis. I have cave dived in absolute dark 200 feet below the ground, into a a system that went back for miles. I have been snorkeling in the open ocean, off a zodiac - and encountered a blue shark circling toward me. I've freeclimbed mountains in Yosemite and Devil's Canyon. I've skated a 30 degree hill, clocked over 70 miles an hour. I've faced down people who had pulled loaded guns on me, three times. I've been shot once. I've fallen through a building, and survived by turning myself midair to land so hard I bounced a foot off the ground. I've had the clip of a gun bash into my head and nick me in the ear only to have the gun fired at me, and have all the bullets end up on the floor because it was in fact the slide. I've been off the edge of a canyon, in the high desert of new mexico, four wheel drift in a volkswagen scirroco. I've gone 230 miles an hour in a 12 cylinder BMW - for two hours straight. And I have listened to Beethoven's sixth symphony , with an open heart. As well as the ninth.

I have faced down that long walk toward the altar, to a man standing in black - holding a bible. At least once. And survived.

I consider these accomplishments. Sure, I kicked away from the shark as hard as I could, and threw myself back into the zodiac. I didn't go anywhere near two miles into the cave system. I climbed half dome the easy way. I put my weight on my front truck to keep the speed wobble down, and ended up getting second in the competition. Two of the guys who pulled metal on me, just wanted my money -and they got it. It was only the third guy who wanted to kill me and I will take luck over skill, if it's there. Falling through the building was stupid, and torn rotator cuffs heal.

Marriage, however. That's something that took real courage. It's easy to get divorced these days. Make a phone call to a good lawyer, or find a way to hoof it to Vegas. And you're through. It's really that simple. But working through difficult issues raising children, or transforming yourself into a good mother or father. That's hard.

Kids require you to look into yourself and be a better person. All it takes is all you've got.

And kids can and will pole-axe the romantic aspect of your marriage. If you have something that works, don't change it. Until they head off to college, you're going to be trading part of any relationship you've developed - for something that the child will use to form the basis of their relationships and life choices. Loveless marriages and half-measures probably don't work well in the long run, but they do work. If you can teach love with whole heart, do it. If not, teach them how to get good grades and just make sure they're in the right place not to get hurt. Don't sweat it. In all likelihood, they'll learn to love with their whole heart - when they meet their first girlfriend. I know I did. Just make sure they stay away from NSA, when it comes around - because they are creating templates and not just working through physical stuff.

That's why the two articles I found today made so much sense. Romance is at least in part, about facing and defeating simple, basic human fear. A study was done, where people were placed on rollercoasters - and the researchers found that after the ride - many experienced feelings not unlike that of an aphrodisiac. I find this to make sense, in so many ways. So. So many ways.

Polyamory seems to fall by the wayside in this frame of reference. Multiple points of romance are like multiple points of fear. One single terror is likely all you really need. We likely evolved from such a state of anxiety to a far more simple and terrifying state, through a natural progression that did not involve the objectification of women during an agrarian transition. It is far more likely that both men and women chose to place their focus upon the evil that you know. Because it is usually far better than the evil you don't know. That, of course - and the fact that there is really no such thing as no strings attached. Some will always tangle around you. Some will even bind you. It's ok to be afraid.

The fear of the lord is the beginning of all wisdom.