Posts Tagged love
After my previous post, in which I described my process of looking for a romantic partner, one of my friends asked me why I used the word “girls” instead of “women.” I am a self-avowed feminist and my friend, I think, could not understand why I would use such sexist language. In the feminist community it has been taken for granted, indeed it is a kind of commandment, that one should not refer to a grown woman as a girl.
As someone looking for a virtuous girl, I have been working under the assumption that Church is a relatively good place to meet girls. After all, girls that go to church are likely to be (or want to be) of a virtuous nature. But I must admit to at least one flaw with this strategy, which was brought to my attention by Daniel Kahneman’s excellent book “Thinking, fast and slow.” First impressions last.
I want to ignore those (often unintentionally) hateful Christians who cannot accept homosexuals for a little while. Let us talk about those Christians who
- Truly believe homosexuality is a sin, but
- Do everything in their power to love their homosexual neighbours.
There are not many such Christians, but they should not be judged along with the rest. They are sincere and honourable. But I am not convinced that their stance is not ultimately harmful.
This video of strangers being asked to kiss each other for the first time went viral this week. It’s being hailed as “something kind of incredible”. I find it to be something kind of disgusting. My theory of kissing is this: Read the rest of this entry »
Friends of mine recently got married. One of them has a background in actuarial science and computer science and the other has a masters degree in music. I thought it would be fun to write them a poem that needed both these backgrounds to appreciate fully, and thus I came up with the following:
Love is like a symphony, a Beethoven symphony (no 7 of course) its present value cannot be determined (no hypothecation allowed ) it has more power than compound interest able to decipher even the most inscrutable VB code love can make life feel like a stroll through country gardens but sometimes, one must face nights on a bare mountain or even the isle of the dead but love is a commitment a contract writ before God it is a long-term investment, that rides out short-term fluctuations (it beats any human benchmark) with not even death as a decrement
Here are the specific references if you want to look them up. Actuarial science: hypothecation, decrement, contract. Finance: compound interest, present value, long-term investment, short-term fluctuations. Programming: VB. Music: Beethoven symphony, country gardens, isle of the dead, night on the bare the mountain.
I’m getting to that age, that age where your friends start pairing off into couples and becoming married. Do not worry, this post is not about how mortified I am that I am still single and how there’s no end in sight. Instead I want to say something about the incredible commitment that marriage is.
I can think of nothing more beautiful and more terrifying than marriage. If you’re a Christian, then, in theory at least, marriage is for life. The certainty you must have to make that commitment… I think I might have to wait till I’m a hundred before I am that certain about anything (except death and taxes).
Marriages do not always last. When you enter into one, you must (even if you are a Christian) be aware that it may end prematurely. That does not mean you should not try. And marriages that do not end in divorce, end in death. There must be no greater grief (except the loss of a child) than the loss of your life partner. If you’re a woman that is most likely what you will experience (women live longer and marry younger), but men are not exempt of course.
Still, a life shared is a beautiful thing. I am thinking beyond the wedding and the honeymoon. It is in every day’s living, in the little joys, in the dull, the dreary, in toil, strife and hardship, that a marriage is built. It is in saying “I love you” every day, to mean it even if you’re in the middle of a heated argument.
Marriage is not a cure for a lonely life. It does not make a broken person complete. But it does, sometimes, make of two people, a single being, inseparable, a force of joy and love and an inspiration to all. It is truly a gift from God (one that like a plant must be nurtured if it is to last). I hope that all my friends who are married and soon to be married (and those who will marry later) experience this gift.
I wrote this poem for you:
Love is grand – it deserves a festival and a honeymoon and a yearly anniversary romantic dinners and flowers and gifts perfume and makeup Love starts with a beating heart and sweaty palms with grandiose gestures but it is in everyday things that love is made complete in two lives that become in every day’s living a life shared in little joys in leaving for work in weekday dinners in the love (or hate) of football in the dull, the dreary in shopping in the choice of asymmetric carpets and paint in toil, strife and hardship in paying the bills together Love is quiet and unrelenting its strength is the strength of God its weakness is the weakness of man love matures with its hosts becomes the finer for their wrinkles and frailty Love is a gift from God
I attended “Carnaval” this weekend, which is basically a huge party in February, celebrated in the South of the Netherlands. The South of the Netherlands is (of course) historically Catholic. Carnaval is meant to be a big party before the fasting of Lent (like Shrove Tuesday, I suppose). Of course in the Netherlands (almost) no one is religious so it is basically just a big excuse to party.
It is, however, a singular party. People dress up in insane costumes (I was a Viking with a saxophone) and there is a big parade with massive floats. My photos do not do justice to the size of these floats. Some seemed to be three stories high and they all had moving parts and blasted “foutmuziek” so my eardrums nearly burst. I awe at the amount of planning and dedication that had to go into these things.
The towns where I went get new names specially for Carnaval season, for instance Prinsenbeek, a small town near Breda, is known as “Boemeldonck”. The best parade is in Prinsenbeek rather than the larger city of Breda. Carnaval is a festival for country folk.
As with any festival, alcohol is paramount. Many of the floats were beer-themed. (Others were lewd. Some bordered on improper – for instance making fun of the church. They were all quite fun, and I do not think there was any ill intent). Many of course use the festival as an opportunity to drink more than anything else. I missed this part of Carnaval (by choice) and I instead have the memory of a fun time with some crazily dressed Dutchies.
While having fun and walking through town I did notice the remnants of the religion that this festival came out of: A Catholic church and some posters advertising the love of Jesus. Wouldn’t it be awesome if people could celebrate with love of God and with love for each other? The latter I experienced first-hand. I am most grateful for the residents of Breda and Prinsenbeek who hosted me – they were most gracious and loving. I hope that the love of God will return in time. I also hope that Carnaval retains its risqué yet fun-loving quality. It seems more sincere that way.