Thursday 24 August 2023

Love is a many shaped thing

It always interests me, the fact that "Romance" is so often derided and sneered at, looked down upon as a genre of film/boook/play, when we all need to love and be loved. Furthermore, it is one of the most powerful emotions we have. People have been shot, hanged drawn and quartered (look at Henry VIII's wives), drowned, driven mad (Gaslight) and many other tortuous ways of ending a person's life when the other party involved thinks that it's over or love is unrequited, been cheated on, etc.

But enough of the gruesome stuff. There's enough of that going on in the world and I for one need cheering up. So I thought I'd look at the ways in which I, and my protagonists, experience(d) love.

First of all there was Pip. He was an interesting mixture - a solo adventurer, always lived on his own, always sailed on his own, until he met me when he was 56. Suddenly he decided he was going to share the rest of his life with me. Luckily I felt the same, though while he did, I didn't, hence my novel The Rescue.

He was a very brave man but also incredibly kind and thoughtful. Men admired him for his mad adventures, and his ability to tell a good story in the pub about them. Women liked him because he was charming in the best sense of the word. And having fallen in love, he wanted everyone to know it. He saw nothing unmanly in telling everyone about me, and would often say, "I love you this much," spreading out his arms. To which I would reply, "but I love you this much," spreading them even further - and on we would go.

I appreciate that few men are like that, but there are many ways to say I love you without actually speaking. I have so many pairs of earrings that say those very words. Meals and dresses, pairs of jeans and books.

But there are also those looks that say more than words ever could. Those tight, tight hugs. The kind gestures. Thoughtful statements. Meals prepared. Holiday paid for. Donation towards a secondhand car. Shower fitted. A hand holding mine at night.

Love is such a precious thing, and should never be derided in any form. We all express it in different ways, but every way is special.