We were rafting on the Rio Grande in central Colorado. No guide, as two inexperienced rafters probably should have had. Rocks jutted out everywhere, jagged knives, sentries of slime, poised to rip our flimsy float. Love is a raft in a swiftly moving river, scant protection against rapids and rocks, a private place of smells and tastes, eloquent looks and intimate touch, a cache of common dreams and accumulated history. We seek its secret, but it is as individual as one's own face, hidden even from ourselves. Our friends are in love, dreaming or daydreaming of it, waiting and dating to fall into it. Romantic love is our inspiration, our motivation—our reason to be.Romance is a cultural obsession, an imperial ideal.Love is (a) champagne and high heels; (b) a passionate, china-shattering fight, followed by an all-night tango; (c) a constant, nagging feeling of insecurity; (d) none of the above.
We are confusing two great psychological systems within us, and this has a devastating effect on our lives and our relationships." In a documentary I'm researching and developing for television, I want to distinguish love from romance, to explore the ideal of true love, or real love, as Johnson describes it. Johnson calls the love he's talking about oatmeal love. The very vocabulary advertises that the champagne of true love is flat. If we care or dare to look at what those who have thought deeply about love have written, we could learn that romance is potentially transformational but never lasting.
Post-student living is hardly compatible with that of fiftysomething parents.