So I'm a little hesitant to write this post because I've steered clear from writing about romantic love publicly on this blog. But I'm reading this book and I came across a line that really spoke to me and I can't help but pour some thoughts in here...
In this book (Delicacy by David Foenkinos, in case you're interested), the leading lady is reeling from the tragic death of her husband and the narrator notes,
"With the death of François she'd lost all her criteria...as if everything she knew about love had been ravaged. Her heart beats on these ruins."
I recently traveled to Rome and Angkor where I witnessed truly majestic ancient ruins, where glorious ancient civilizations once stood. And when I think about it, past love is very much like these ruins. A nearly barren land (in your heart) that holds just a glimmer, a glimpse of where something truly great once stood...where grandeur, magic, and the promise of forever seemed oh so real. It's still there and it probably always will be...but only pieces--fragments, really--still stand.
In a way, it's tragic to think that something that once held so much grandeur and magic and promise has been lost and ravaged by time. But it's beautiful too...to know that some part will always be there, albeit in another form, ready to be revisited at any time. Isn't that enough?
And perhaps another parallel with these lost loves and lost civilizations comes the myth making that surrounds them both. Much of the history of Rome, Angkor, and many other ancient civilizations is steeped in a mixture of fact and fiction. And I don't doubt that the same is true for our past loves. We create our own narratives -- we romaticize or we villainize the loves of our lives and create stories of the time we shared together.
They're so similar really...the ruins of a civilization and the ruins of a love. It's funny we don't easily recognize that connection.