There Is No Remedy For Love

“There is no remedy for love, but to love some more.”

                                                            -Thoreau

Fool:   a person with little or no judgment, common sense, wisdom, etc.

 I once knew a man who posed the question of ‘How does one tell the difference between loving someone and being in love?’  The question so vexed the man that he went in search of an answer across the globe. After searching high and low he came to the conclusion that only experts of the world could possibly solve the dilemma of his inquiry.  And so he sought out those foremost and respected in the art of knowledge. 

After much turmoil and self debate the man chose the English Physician Peter Mark Roget as the first expert to pose his burning question.

“Mr. Roget, you created the Thesaurus, the ultimate treasury of words.  Can you tell me the difference between loving someone and being in love?”

Roget replied, “Dear boy, one simply needs to look at what is associated with love and determine if the factors involved, involves you.”

Both men proceeded to pour through the various words associated with love: fondness, liking, desire, admiration, affection, passion, infatuation, adoration, endearment, smitten, tender, and devotion to name just a few. 

“Clearly one can see the difference here between loving someone and being in love,” boasted Roget with a look of triumph on his face.  The man left politely and a little more bewildered than when he arrived.  So he set out on his challenge once again.

His travels took him to a different expert, one who surely knew the differences of love.  Dr. Ruth Westheimer had long been considered the foremost authority on matters of love.

“Dr. Ruth, you have so much experience and knowledge from across the globe with every culture and region of the world.  Certainly you must be able to answer my question.  What is the difference between being in love and loving somebody?”

Dr. Ruth sat back and giggled at the man and began to go into a long diatribe of how the history of relationships points toward the importance of the physical connection as a powerful force contributing to the feeling of love.  After hours of graphic descriptions and explicit details had exhausted the man’s attention he departed thoroughly confused in all that he knew of love.

Desperate, frustrated, and losing hope the man decided to seek someone who unlocked many mysteries of the universe.  He waited outside the offices of Carl Sagan hoping his question could be solved by someone who knew so much of our world and beyond.  Mr. Sagan, ever the scientist, simply drew the man’s question as a hypothesis that could never be truly answered and added it to life’s mysteries maybe to be discovered through time and space.

The man’s journey had left him exhausted and more perplexed than when he first started.  He decided to drown his frustrations in alcohol and try to forget the questions of love.  An older gentleman had noticed him drowning his sorrows in whiskey and beer.

“Looks like you lost your way somewhere young man.  Just what is it that has put you into this state?” queried the gray haired gent.

“I’ve traversed the globe in search of a question.  I’ve asked the most knowledgeable people in the world and I still have not found anything that will satisfy my curiosity.”

“Well maybe I could help you.  I may not be the foremost expert on anything, but I’ve been around a few years.”

“No offense, but I just don’t think there is an answer and I just don’t think it’s possible that you would have anything for me.  But, what the hell, why not?  How does one tell the difference between loving someone and being in love?”

The old man sat back and looked at the younger one.  He smiled and put his hand on the puzzled one’s shoulder as he amazingly got up to leave.  The young man believed, just as he assumed, the more experienced man had no answer for him just as no one else did.  But just before he reached the door the elder man spun around and left with the wise words of many years, “The answer you seek is within.”

The less experienced man started to laugh at the ridiculousness of such a simplistic answer and the failure of the older man to fully comprehend his inquiry.  And then it hit him…and all was clear.

He ran from his bar stool and bolted for the door for he wasted too much of life’s precious time. He had someone to tell his discovery and at last he realized what a fool he was.  But at least he was a fool in love.

Alan D. Welding

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