Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Potemkin Love

My parents met each other at a sweet sixteen party in the early forties. My dad asked my mom if she would like to take a walk. Sometime during that stroll he says they knew. Sixty plus years later they still know. It is remarkable, I think. When I was a kid it was not at all unusual for me to come into the living room and find my folks embraced in a big smooch. Every December 31st in a way that seemed just natural to me until I realized otherwise, as soon as the ball dropped my folks engaged in a long kiss that I figured was what you did when you grew up and it was midnight on New Years.

There are so many things we cannot understand and explain in the same way our ancestors could not explain so many things. Get in a time machine and go explain to citizens in 1800 about the internet or airplanes. It's not possible for them to understand the phenomena. If we go fast forward from 2010 and imagine 2300, maybe the people we would encounter then could explain to us, scientifically, the pull and nourishment from genuine love.

In the absence of that genuine love or the substitution of Potemkin love we stumble about, making as best sense as we can out of the world, but we need drugs of some sort because the natural drug is absent or falsified. I have been lucky as have been my parents, but I think that if we want to enjoy our upcoming thanksgiving we need to give thanks and respect the real, not Potemkin loves, of our lives and realize--in ways we might not be able to understand right now, the importance of familial, fraternal, and romantic love.

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