Thought For The Day #1814 February 2014
Broadcast 14th of February 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol
In the comedy film Team America, there’s a scene where the lead character Gary admits his feelings to his beautiful colleague Lisa. “I really like you”, he says, “there’s no chance we can ever get together is there?”. After a moment’s pause, Lisa looks back at him and answers, “Only if you promise me you’ll never die.”
It’s acted in such a way that for a moment you think it’s a reasonable request. Love can conquer so much, maybe if Gary looks into his heart he could find the strength to make that promise. But then the utter impossibility of it hits you. Nobody can promise to never die. That’s just ridiculous. But somehow Lisa is expressing something true. Maybe she’s trying to say, “promise me I’ll never have to feel the grief of losing something precious”?
For all love’s wonderful promises it carries an awful threat, like a hidden sniper ready to pick out its target at a moment’s notice. If falling in love can fill a life with light then losing that love can fill a life with darkness.
My most traumatic lessons have been learning that there is no such thing as love without loss. Even now I still catch myself fantasizing that it’s just a matter of meeting the right woman; that special one that will never leave and never die. But love’s not like that.
Perhaps it sounds like I don’t believe in love, but I do. Just because love is not and never will be mine to keep, doesn’t mean I don’t find myself buying flowers and chocolates once in a while.