Even as an eleven year old I was a fierce believer in true love. Love, the kind that takes time to grow, requires mutual attraction and respect, is a mystical force of nature as well as a rare and timid air reserved for unforeseeable moments, in short, love as a form of art.
I was blessed enough to grow up in an environment that let me be a child, slowly discovering for myself what I want in life and also, how I would want to be loved. Nobody forced their own ideals on me. This is something I am fighting for, that kids can be kids and girls are left to grow up peacefully into the women THEY want to be.
Through my love of literature and all things creative I kept coming back to the human race’s eternal search for answers on how to attain and maintain love’s sweet and fierce spirit.
One author I came to love is Alexandre Jardin. In “Fanfan” he asks the question how can wekeep falling in love, and keep the suspense, the joy of learning how to win over the beloved person’s heart, without ever becoming complacent of each other.
This is a book I would immediate make required reading for all grade 11’s in South Africa. In a country where we are casually talking about “rape culture” the art of devoting one’s entire time, energy and creativity into really getting to know the loved person and very slowly and thoughtfully, yet nevertheless intensely, winning their love, might seem so foreign as the sound of a violin to a cave man. FanFan is a passionate french love story, a little bit crazy and over the top made in a movie with Sophie Marceau. Books like this are very well able to trigger some new thinking in our South African kids about what love and friendship can be like, and I think that’s much more important brainfood than accounting.
Valentine’s day is big in South Africa. Again the silly pressure mounts to on this very day prove one’s love and devotion by purchasing useless trinkets, wasting money on hideous cards … you get the picture.
Of course, those of you who are “cultured” enough to even bother reading someone’s blog are probably far above that.
If you happen to have a woman in your life who you love and cherish, you are blessed.
To me, a woman represents all that is good and precious in this world.
Her ever present ability to love, her awesome ability to create and nourish life, her innate creativity and grace, should make her the cherished and highly valued asset of every society. Instead women all over the world are being oppressed, taken advantage of, belittled, victimized. Why is that? Only a lesser man would feel the need to destroy beauty because he feels threatened by it. True strength is shown through the ability to love, protect and cherish.
I hope you are one of those rare love artists, who have devoted part of their life to learn how to love and keep love growing.
Know a woman.
By this I mean, do not know what YOU think a woman should be like, but KNOW the woman.
I told my South African husband that women are not born wanting to cook and sew and look after babies. Women are born as individuals, human beings with very different dreams and hopes. Loving a woman does not mean buying and bunch of roses so she might be a contend housekeeper for another year.
Loving a woman means finding it fullfilling if walking with her at the beach sharing thoughts of the heart would be all you would ever do …
Know the woman you are with, and show her that her heart is pleasing to you.
That is a life long art to be studied.
Dont give this up. The world around is is rough, evil, destructive. It takes a new kind of gentleman and knight to stand against a sea of ever increasing violence. By opposing those who try to take by force what should be given as a grace, maybe you can end the invasion of evil. The ability to love a lady is a beautiful measure for the depth of soul of a society.