Thursday, October 27

These Are My Characters

I almost cried when I read this...!

“She is so full of love and loveliness, that it really does seem as though bells ring when he is in her presence. Her bells are deep, like the chimes you hear at Easter Sunday sunrise. It’s all part of the music of Venus, and you can just imagine the effect it has on his sentimental heart and sensitive, finely-tuned awareness.

To add to the dreamlike quality of the experience, the girl who has enchanted him looks an awful lot like an angel. Venus never fails to bestow upon those who are her children a haunting beauty of feature… if not that, a smile that can gladden the weariest soul. She may be fortunate enough to have received both of these Venus blessings, and if so, he doesn’t stand much of a chance.

He has a sensational sense of humour, so the first thing he’ll do to impress her, shortly after they’ve met, is tell her a funny story. She will laugh… not an ordinary laugh, but a laugh very much like the one Peter Pan told Wendy about, that breaks into a thousand pieces and creates the birth of fairies… and he will hear those chiming bells again. Not only is her laughter musical, but her smile is a symphony, and she has the good taste to appreciate his humour.

Not long after this he’ll learn that, in addition to being beautiful and witty, softly fragrant and feminine, and overflowing with the velvet mystery of woman, she’s also extremely intelligent and can match his own cleverness in anything from chess to charades. She’s certainly smarter that all those dunderheads he’s used to dealing with who don’t laugh at his jokes and have to be told a dozen times how to accomplish the most simple tasks.

And here is this charming man, whose eyes are alive with intelligence and humour, whose manner is so warm and affectionate, who is so reflective and sensitive. He makes her feel so feminine, yet he admires and encourages her intellect. He makes her feel that he truly needs her, and somehow, she feels so safe and secure with him, as though he would never allow anything ugly or gross or upsetting to trouble the new tranquillity they’ve found. There’s something just a little old-fashioned and gallant about him, and it lifts her spirits in a strange way, making her feel pleasantly protected.

His mother once told him it’s more sensible to be safe than sorry, and that smartness succeeds better than softness in this cold, harsh world. So he’s always tried to be safe and sensible and smart. And now here is this beautiful, intelligent woman trying to make him be careless and impulsive and free. He’ll fret privately over her extravagant nature. She’ll tell him he’s smothering her very soul and refuse to answer his calls.

But she misses him, she needs him, so she’ll try to see it his way… again. He panics when they’ve quarrelled, because the moment they’re apart, her air of happy optimism and the sheer loveliness of life when they’re laughing and loving together haunts him. Will there ever be such beauty again with anyone else? He fears there won’t.

When they’re making love, they’ll say silently to one another, “Let’s don’t think, let’s just feel.” And so their physical intimacy makes their troubles fade. When he submits to pure emotion and feeling, he’s being his true self, free of the restrictions of his fears and worries. He brings her peace and contentment as a lover because of the deep waters of his emotional nature. Sometimes, when they make love, she’s reminded of a cool stream, and she’s a leaf, floating on its surface. The tenderness and imagination she brings to their union has the same quieting effect on him, and he relaxes, allowing love to fill his whole being, so there’s no room for anything but joy. The way she makes him feel at these moments is not something he’ll ever want to lose.

Their divergent viewpoints aren’t easy to overcome. But if he uses his tenaciousness to pull their differences together, and if she uses her fairness to comprehend his caution with more compassion for his feelings and less concern for her own, they just might try again… and maybe this time, they’ll make their poem rhyme. His need to hear those Easter Sunday chimes again may cause him to take another chance, and her need to be loved by a man who both cherishes her and respects her may bring her back in his arms to be told once again how beautiful she is.

While she’s gone, it’s funny how he still feels her head against his shoulder, now and then, in his dreams… and last night, he was sure he heard her speak, but her voice was sad. He thought her heard her say to him, gently, “You have so much to learn, and I hope you never learn it, because it will bring pain as learning always does, and I can’t bear for you to be hurt any more.” The Moon both curses and blesses him with a vivid memory, nearly photographic, sometimes, in its clarity. When he wakes, there are tears in his eyes, because her presence had been so real, he almost heard the music he’ll never quite forget.

These two can find their way back home to each other if their need and their patience are both strong enough. But if not, even after the song between them has ended, his vivid Lunar memory will return to him… haunting fragments of the lyric. Then he’ll regret certain things he didn’t say when she was near… so he’ll just think about them sometimes when he’s alone… and hope she hears them, wherever she is…”

Paraphrased from "Love Signs" by Linda Goodman, Pan Macmillan (1980)

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