Friday, January 14, 2005

A Thought On Love

I met my wife in the spring of 1996 on the Internet in an email discussion group for fans of the band Pink Floyd. I flew out to Toronto to meet her that summer, and she came out here to visit me twice before finally moving here.

The Western psychology of love was defined in the middle ages, through great, defiant love stories like that of Tristan and Isolde, or of Sir Lancelot and Guinevere. One of the great medieval poets, Girault de Borneilh, wrote in the 12th century:

so through the eyes love attains the heart:
for the eyes are the scouts of the heart,
and the eyes go reconnoitering
for what it would please the heart to possess.
and when they are in full accord
and firm, all three, in the one resolve,
at that time, perfect love is born
from what the eyes have made welcome to the heart.
not otherwise can love either be born or have commencement
than by this birth and commencement moved by inclination.

—guiraut de borneilh (c. 1138-1200)

Today, in the age of the Internet, it's no longer always through the eyes that love is attained. Now love can start other ways rather than necessarily through sight.

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