The reunion planned back around Easter in the Dog’s Bar in St Kilda between the Butsons, the Pates and me in front of Notre Dame Cathedral at 1100 on the 26th August, has taken place. You’ll see one of the photos with the five of us standing together. It has been great to see members of my tribe. We’ve been catching up, eating together, speculating about the big walk coming up. I’ve loved it.
Those of you who know me well would know that I have a penchant for the quirky, and that I can do just enough magic tricks to be annoying at parties. So I was lucky enough to be shown the Magic Museum here in Paris. Fun times. Now if I could only find the juggling, stilt walking, unicycling and fire eating museums I’ll be set.
A couple of other photos of note, there is a statue of Joan of Arc (again my special crush), one of the Paris versions of the Statue of Liberty and some great early morning photos of the Louvre. Taken had a very unsensible hour, but no people around and great light.
I have been reflecting a lot on the nature of love. Of course being in “The City of Light”, it was only a matter of time. Not only romantic love, although make no mistake this is interesting to me as well, but love for my family, my neighbor, my tribe, humanity.
So, this brings me to a life well lived, at least for me. I know I have been asking the question of others in previous blogs, and received some quite brilliant responses, please keep them coming, but here is one that is important to me.
To love courageously.
There are a few things I have learned over the years (imagine how smart I’ll be when I learn a few more things). Firstly, sooner or later love hurts, I don’t want that to sound bitter or broken, it most certainly isn’t. Indeed the realisation is liberating. What I mean to say is that people will let you down, I let people down, I try not to do it on purpose but I do. It will hurt because people make mistakes, because the ledger won’t always balance in your favour in a relationship, if it does you’re probably not in a healthy relationship. It will hurt because that person might say bad things, they might leave you, they will eventually die, they will fail you. And if you love, you will get hurt. If you love hard it may hurt more.
Having said that, the very nature of love, even a great romantic love, is to put the other person before yourself. I have realised that one of the things I have a tendency to do is to move toward and away from a person according to how much they move away from and toward me. This is fear, some may call it common sense or stewardship of the heart, but I really do think it is fear and with me at the centre. What if I could be free from fear enough to say “I will love you, how you are toward me is no longer a part of the equation of my loving you”. I suspect if I could get past this fear I might even hurt less when someone lets me down.
I wonder if this is what happens to some great loves over time. A couple set out passionate and in love, but one lets the other down who pulls back a bit, then the letter-downer pulls back in response, and so forth. Soon they find themselves in this cool relationship and what was once great is now just a convenience, or worse still a prison.
There is a passage in the bible that says “perfect love casts out fear”. I think that says to me that GREAT love cannot coexist with fear. That fear is a mortal enemy of love.
Of course God knows how to pull off this perfect love business, but we are made in His image, surely I can at least aspire toward this love. I mean really, what have I got to lose? Hopefully I am just giving away fear and ordinary, vanilla flavoured, uninteresting love, and setting out to love amazingly. I am on a pilgrimage after all.
And on that note, my efforts at courageous love to you all. Pray for me on my quest.