Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love, dance away

When I set a glass prism on a windowsill and allow the sun to flood through it, a spectrum of colors dances on the floor. What we call “white” is a rainbow of colored rays packed into a small space. The prism sets them free. Love is the white light of emotion. It includes many feelings which, out of laziness and confusion, we crowd into one simple word.

Art is the prism that sets them free, then follows the gyrations of one or a few. When art separates this thick tangle of feelings, love bares its bones. But it cannot be measured or mapped. Everyone admits that love is wonderful and necessary, yet no one can agree on what it is. I once heard a sportscaster say of a basketball player, "He does all the intangibles. Just watch him do his dance."

As lofty as the idea of love can be, no image is too profane to help explain it. Years ago I fell in love with someone who was both a sport and a pastime. At the end, he made fade-away jump shots in my life. But for a while, love did all the intangibles. It lets us do our finest dance.

-- from A Natural History of Love, by Diane Ackerman

PLUS: “He have a lover”--that old tale, and my greatest hit.

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