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[2004: JAN-FEB] The Rationale Of It's Over


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Was this love? Was this what it had all been about? Philip sighed angrily… why was this not enough for him? It was comfortable, it was, at times, fun. The arguments reminded him of his parents’ rows, so surely it was approaching marriage. Marriage meant love, right?

Why this doubt, then? If this were love, then why is it not a rock, a foundation of security and meaning? They had been together for nearly two years, but somehow it all just seemed so contrived, and so detached. That was not love, surely?

These questions were getting him nowhere. Because Philip knew the answers already – the questions were just stalling tactics, procrastination before action. Philip knew that this was not love. This was neither the all-encompassing agape of God for creation and one for another, nor the keenest lust-love of his finer human relationships. This was just… comfortable. Not unpleasant, and he wondered whether for her it could be real love, whether she felt something, that spark that for Philip was missing. And suddenly dread filled his stomach – what of reciprocity? What of the very real friendship-[...]-‘love’ he had for her? When she came to him next, what was he to do? For now he knew it was time to… to move on. He didn’t like thinking about it, didn’t want to acknowledge it. He felt heartless, but… sometimes he wondered whether he even could love: properly, in a real fashion. Even in the relationships where he thought he had been it had been love, there was a certain despondency, a certain holding-back. Mostly love was more like passion and melodrama, that sense of on-the-edge-ness that the most moving and influential relationships of his had had.

And now, what was wrong with this relationship? What was so terrible about now? It was… it was loving, caring. He loved Rebekah, he did, but… it was a deep fondness, and Philip wouldn’t accept that that was love. Was love not the founding principle of the multiverse? Was love not what God was? Was the whole of mechanistic nature not moved by love? This was love how he understood it – religious love, incomprehensible omnibenevolence, of God to creation, of the All to the individual. Had Philip’s understanding of love been so stretched by his Faith that now ordinary human love seemed paltry to him? He had a clue in the fact that he had called it ordinary, but if anything human love was remarkable, special, extraordinary. Or at least it should be. Shouldn’t it?

And at least Philip came to a wall in his thought – and he just didn’t know. He was arrogant enough to presume to know, or at least be able to glimpse at understanding, the enormity of God’s love for him, and indeed everything, but had to admit at last that human love was for him a mystery. And precious.

For, if God loves everything with equal enormity, he began to question, which, undoubtedly, he does, then… then how am I different? How is my relationship with God, with Creation and the All, individual? Specifically mine, distinct and special from his or hers, from this elephant’s or that electron’s?

And then the penny dropped. That was love, that was human love – the prizing of someone else, the preciousness of surrender, of pushing another forward and loving them. It was not the selfish, dangerous love of his past relationships. And it was not the comfortable, slow love of his relationship with Rebekah. He felt saddened by that. He would have to break up with her. After all that, after that emotional journey, he still came to that… it was over.

Snr Lt Jefferson Nariah


USS Paladin

Edited by Idril Mar
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Hmmm. It censored the word that rhymes with 'hum' and is spelt 'C', 'U' and lastly 'M'. I wasn't using it in a rude way. I was using it in a Latin way. I guess it depends on one's opinion of the Romans, but just to assure you, there was no rule-breaking, just a language error on the part of the censorship programme. Good ol' censorship.

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