This is what love is:
The dry rose bush the gardener, in his pruning, missed
Suddenly bursts into bloom.
A madness of delight; an obsession.
A holy gift, certainly,
But often, alas, improbable.
Why couldn’t Romeo have settled for someone else?
Why couldn’t Tristan and Isolde have refused
The shining cup
Which would have left peaceful the whole kingdom?
Wild sings the bird of the heart in the forests
Of our lives.
Over and over Faust, standing in the garden, doesn’t know
Anything that’s going to happen, he only sees
The face of Marguerite, which is irresistible.
And wild, wild sings the bird.
Compulsive, wild love can destroy kingdoms and lead us into our doom? It’s hard to see how an out of season blooming bush can bring mayhem and death and suffering, such as the stories to which Mary refers. But now I’m thinking of a bird in a rose bush, a purple finch mistaking this plant for one where she can feed. What is it like to be her, hungry, desperate to feed the chicks back home. She’s distracted though for a moment by the pretty flowers , which cause the bird to sing and forget for a moment the responsibility of chicks, her mate, and the flock. Then an un pair bonded male hears the song and comes to her, where their tryst leads to a flurry of feathers that some might call betrayal, others love, and even others, might say, well, it’s just evolutionary good sense to keep several possible mates in waiting in case catastrophe comes to nest and original mate. Or to help raise the chicks. Or to fertilize the eggs with diverse genes.
Love, out of control, doth seem a chaotic virtue. So powerful, so unplanned, so rift with possibility to bring life, connection, and social bonds that can feed the heart. I wonder then if there is any way to rein love in so that nests and nations may also be adequately nourished while love wreaks havoc. I believe our hearts can hold much love, and that with training and intention we can channel that love into a feeding of the world. But it’s a tricky thing to live so wildly; to let say that fragrant flower outside my window keep me from my chores, my focus of the day, and the writing of this blog. Now where was I….ah yes, in love.