My thoughts this morning while waiting for sunrise is the question of male/female relationships.
My visit to Freiburg last week and the discussions I had with friends remain strongly imprinted in my mind.
One topic my closest male friends and I talk about after work, tech, movies, music and politics are our relationships with the “fairer sex”.
And these discussions have got my mind chewing on the notion that maybe much that is problematic in relationships is our inability to accept reality as it is, our capacity to delude ourselves into thinking that fantasy is more attainable and desireable than reality.
I cannot begin to imagine what thoughts possess a woman when she first falls in love, but for me when I begin to realise I am in love a kind of inner light fills my mind, growing, rushing like fire towards a fuse of dynamite.
Butterflies in the stomach, the nerves delighted with emotion, the skin a-tingle when the wind touches it.
Grey disappears and is replaced by a never-before-appreciated kaleidoscope of colours.
The land is filled with blossoms even on a winter´s day and trees no longer seem dark and forbidding but rather seem to reach to the heavens with outstretched limbs raised in celebration of life.
Minor events take on a significance far beyond their capacity to impress others.
Pleasure alternates between the slow release of a great contented yawn of satisfied comfort and the flashes of excitement produced by fireworks.
Birdsong sweetens the ear.
The rich smells of the earth rise enchantingly to the nose.
And light itself dances.
Forces within and unsuspected are released in a floodlike torrent of expression.
Spirits rise flying and all fear and bitterness and sour memories forgotten.
The rough farting, burping, menstruating, nagging, complaining, whining, crying possibilities of Woman are unimaginable, for what is burned in the mind are images of beauty and tenderness, sweetness and divinity precious beyond thought.
The grim realities of what makes a woman human are forgotten in a man´s rush to find completion in his life.
So often, I think couples believe that whatever is missing in their lives before the relationship will somehow materialise into their lives because of the relationship.
Rarely do we realise that what we get out of a relationship is what we bring into it.
I think that there is a basic instinctive love that is realised at the beginning of a relationship.
But over time we discover that, rather than a relationship being the end-all and be-all of our existence, love is a learned phenomena, a skill that must be developed, honed and regularly practiced.
The capacity to love that we brought into the relationship must evolve and grow or the relationship cannot survive.
“Each man lives love in his limited fashion and does not seem to relate the resultant confusion and loneliness to his lack of knowledge about love.”(Leo Buscaglia)
I think that the sudden discovery of the beauty of existence that we experience when we first taste love is nature´s way of telling a man that a total immersion in life is the best classroom for learning to love.
I do feel sorrow when I consider those I have known who have been disappointed by their relationships, who somehow convince themselves that because of the bitter lessons learned that they are unloveable because another person was unable to respond in kind.
“Just because the message may never be received does not mean it is not worth sending.”(Segaki)
So often we are seduced by what music and Hollywood suggest that love could be, we delude ourselves into thinking that this is how our love in reality should be.
We forget that Nicholas Sparks writes works of fiction, that Cinderella is a fairy tale and all won´t be complete and easy after Prince Charming gets the girl and rides off with her into the sunset.
The toilet seat´s position will be a source of nagging irritation between a man and woman as will the absence of toilet paper when paperwork is required.
The baby won´t stop crying and his stool of indescribable colour and consistency will travel through Cleveland before finding an exit through the baby´s colon.
Underwear will never be a thrill to collect and wash and even her lingerie looks unappealing on the balcony clothesline.
Candlelight dinners are replaced by microwaveable fare.
And the horse upon which Prince Charming rode off into the sunset has been replaced by a sensible family sedan and the horse made into hamburger.
Bathroom space and closet space will be an endless battlefield, with no surrender expected, no surrender given, instead territory is captured when the enemy´s guard is relaxed.
And the reality of an endless stream of unsympathetic bills and long suffering hours of work, whether home-based or away, will leave you and yours with the energy of a drenched cat that barely escaped drowning after accidentally falling into a swimming pool.
Your beard will remind her of a homeless wino.
Her tendency to treat your lower back as a foot warmer will annoy you countless times.
These images are never serenaded by Britany Spears or Bruno Mars.
Julia Roberts is never seen in face cream, hair in rollers and in a tattered bathrobe worn so it doesn´t matter if the baby pukes on it or not.
And yet somehow through all the inconveniences of living, all the days of disappointments and the sexless empty nights, for some, love continues to survive.
If both partners share their problems and both bring all they can into the relationship, then the resulting companionship is a rock which no wave can split asunder.
Love does not guarantee a better life.
Only a fuller life.