For most of us, saying ‘I love you’ is as simple as saying the line because we think that the best way to say something is to say it as simple as possible. We tend to think that saying more than what is necessary pollutes our thoughts rendering what we say less pure, less real, a lesser version of what we have distilled in our mind.
But love thrives in exaggeration; it has to be bigger than life. Without drama, love is as bland as rice porridge minus the chicken entrails.
Lovers on the Seine by Rolf Harris
I once asked my father how he wooed my mother. He said that he didn’t have to do anything to capture the heart of my mother because she was head over heels in love with him the first time they met. Incredulous, I asked him to provide evidence for this as I didn’t want to ask my mother if what he said was true. He took a hardbound maroon book; it was his college thesis. On the inside of the front cover was a love poem my mother wrote for him.
The poem my mother wrote for him was something that is beyond my ability to critique. It was a poem written out of love that started twenty-five years ago. It was a poem only a young woman in love can compose.
Below are expression of love by some literary greats. I hope you find inspiration from them:
“I cannot exist without you – I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again – my life seems to stop there – I see no further. You have absorb’d me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I were dissolving ….I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion – I have shudder’d at it – I shudder no more – I could be martyr’d for my religion – love is my religion – I could die for that – I could die for you. My creed is love and you are its only tenet – you have ravish’d me away by a power I cannot resist.” –John Keats to Fanny Brawne
“I am fast shut up like a little lake in the embrace of some big mountains. If you were to climb up the mountains, you would see me down below, deep and shining – and quite fathomless, my dear. You might drop your heart into me and you’d never hear it touch bottom.” -Katherine Mansfield to John Middleton Murray
“My dearest, When two souls, which have sought each other for, however long in the throng, have finally found each other …a union, fiery and pure as they themselves are… begins on earth and continues forever in heaven. This union is love, true love, … a religion, which deifies the loved one, whose life comes from devotion and passion, and for which the greatest sacrifices are the sweetest delights. This is the love which you inspire in me… Your soul is made to love with the purity and passion of angels; but perhaps it can only love another angel, in which case I must tremble with apprehension.” –Victor Hugo to Adele Foucher
“But I more than love you, and cannot cease to love you. Think of me, sometimes, when the Alps and ocean divide us, –but they never will, unless you wish it.” –Lord Byron to Teresa Guiccioli
I have my share of this act of immortalizing my love through language. I said “I love you” in myriad of ways to a number of people whom I love, I loved, I am loving, and I stopped feeling anything other than indifference. I expressed them in the truest possible sense that my language can allow me. Although in love, we may run out of words to express the depth of the emotion, the emotion shall go beyond–it may blossom and endure like my parents’, or remain seeking like mine every now and then. But language is the only possible way that it can be enjoyed by the spirit.
Let’s write them down. Probably, one winter night hundred years from now, our version of “I love you” will inspire a young man to write his own “I love you” in a language only his heart can express.