We also wish a happy birthday to my Facebook friend, Allan Mortimer who comes from Bradford, and Sinead Casey who lives in Carrick-on-Suir, Tipperary, Ireland. Enjoy your special day, Alan, and Sinead, and thank you for being my Facebook friend.
My song today is ‘Feels Like I’m In Love.’ This song was recorded by the Scottish singer, Kelly Marie. It reached Number 1 on the ‘UK Single’s Chart’ in September 1980. The song was written by Ray Dorset and Mungo Jerry. The song was originally intended for Elvis Presley who recorded it in 1977 but he died before it was released. When it was originally released on Pye Records in 1979, the song was a sleeper hit on the Scottish club scene before breaking through nationally in the summer of 1980, before reaching the top of the ‘UK Singles Chart’. The following year, aided by several remixes, the song became a club hit in the US, reaching Number 10 on the US ‘Hot Dance Club Play Chart’.
I suppose that one of the most confusing emotions one can experience is ‘falling in love’. The reason is somewhat complex. While there are many common features that we all experience when we are in love, we all differ in other respects. What distinguishes such differences depend largely on what our initial love attraction is primarily based, or is seeking to achieve/aspire to. Should we be physically drawn to someone with an intensity of passion that we have not previously met in ourselves, then we might find it impossible to keep their hands off our lover and display the need to constantly touch them. Another person who had a very uncertain, insecure, and abusive past life where they were let down repeatedly, might naturally seek feelings of safety and constant reassurance in their love expectations. Someone who has experienced a lifetime of debt and material hardship might need financial security in their relationship to meet their love expectations, whereas some may see their love expectations and ideal future together wrapped up in the parenting of children. And we have all heard of the people who express their expectation of a new partner when they demand, ‘love me, love my dog!’ (or worse still nine cats!)
The above differences in ‘love expectation’ are what makes finding a 'perfect' love match between two people almost impossible to achieve. Most of us will be satisfied with an approximation of our wants and needs being fulfilled. Just as any antique collector will tell you, ‘perfection’ in any item of precious worth is virtually impossible to find. Whether it is the most delicate and the finest porcelain or the rarest of coins in mint condition. Even too much handling of perfect goods removes them from their state of ‘perfection’; and so it is with people! None of us come to any new relationship of the heart without the trappings of some past trauma or the carriage of some emotional baggage that still remains fully unwrapped and not emotionally resolved. Such experiences are often secretly placed in the bottom drawer of our future life.
Being deeply loved by someone gives us all added strength while loving someone entirely gives us a depth of courage which can border on sheer bravado and recklessness in the extreme. We are most alive when we are in love. We are at our most unpredictable and even at our most dangerous when we are in love. There is simply no danger we fear facing to protect our newfound love, no fear too perilous to confront. Together we are prepared to face all obstacles placed before us which threaten our continued happiness. If we were to take on the whole world, we believe our love will be strong enough to beat it hands down! However great the impediment that stands in the way of our love, we will sweep it aside. However high the mountain that needs ascending, it will be climbed. There is no earthly cave, chasm, sea, or ocean which is deep enough to bury and drowned the love we hold for each other. When we look at the night-time sky we see our love shining in the brightest star, we watch it burn through the mid-day sun, and see its reflection spooning on the moon's surface. Our love is most visible of all, however, when we look into each other’s eyes, and when we hold hands, embrace, kiss, and make love; and sincerely say “I love you”.
There is no thing or person that will be allowed to trespass on the happiness of two people who are deeply in love. There is no vested interest too great to be defeated, be it considerations of family objections, financial power, social status, religious affiliation, or indeed anything of significance beneath the clouds! Love gives lovers one purpose primarily. It offers them prospects of future happiness together beyond all reasonable doubt. To love and be loved in equal measure is everything and more besides. Love is a blissful entity where the two people in love represent complementary pieces of a whole that make the perfect match when put together.
There is romantic gardening that occurs in all loving relationships which takes place during the first spring of a lasting romance. A couple’s love cultivates the blossoming of each other’s finest traits and fullest bloom, and any thought of domination is banished behind the weeds in the compost heap. We trust our love completely, and we are ideally placed and are at maximum comfort in each other’s shade and sun of both morning and afternoon. Years of a loving and nurturing relationship will witness splendid flowering of our partnership as we hold hands and heart in our marriage plot of land; our Garden of Eden.
Think about this a moment. Hold your lover's hand and let go, and you can still reach back out and hold their hand again, but hold the heart of your lover, and carelessly let go, and their heart is lost forever as it falls to the ground and is broken, wounded, and bleeds. Even the truest and most faithful of loving partnerships need emotional and spiritual nourishment to thrive and be maintained throughout all seasons if it is to survive. Love left unattended, will if neglected long enough, eventually fade and die. 'Falling in love' is effortless.‘Being in love' is easy; it happens, and our only response required is how we handle it. ‘Staying in love’ however, is a different kettle of fish! We have to actively work to maintain it at the standard we came to initially know it. That requires the nourishment of each partner’s thoughts, feelings, and actions.
That is essentially what the enlightened French writer, historian, and philosopher, François-Marie Arouet, known by his nom de plume ‘Voltaire’, once remarked when he was talking about tending to our own garden:
“We must cultivate our own garden. When man was put in the Garden of Eden, he was put there so that he should work, which proves that man was not born to rest.”
I have felt all this and much more about my relationship with my wife, Sheila, ever since we first fell in love with each other. I swear I could not love her as much as I do today, and yet I know that when I wake up tomorrow, I will love her more. The best thing we have been able to hold onto, particularly since I have developed two terminal cancers after our marriage in November 2012, is each other. If we can hold on to each other, we can continue to hold on to the happiness that binds us closer than any two people I know.
It has been a long time now, Sheila, since I wrote you a love letter, but were I to write you one today, I would have to say the following:
“I will love you, Sheila Forde, until the stars fade into a black hole in the sky, the sun stops shining, and the moon fails to wake for its night shift, and the tides do not return to their shores. All that has ever mattered between us, Sheila, has been the moment we share. Was I asked, 'What do you love Sheila for, Bill?' while there is a long list of your positive traits I could readily identify, I could reduce it to one word only, “Forever”.
Love and peace