The Big Chill

iceheart

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. (Revelation 2:4)

Yeah. It always starts out on fire. Everything’s peachy keen. All’s well with the world. But the inevitable chill inevitably sets in. You wonder what the big deal was in the first place. You switch out the terms of endearment and the whole thing becomes a matter of personal integrity. The first experience is remembered with a nostalgic embarrassment, maybe even a slight guilt, but it is not something you honestly want anymore. That was then; this is now.

If the freeze were a series of songs, the glacial progression might look something like this:

Love is a many-splendored thing. —Four Aces

Love is blind. —Shakespeare

Love bites. —Def Leppard

Love hurts. —Nazareth

Love stinks. —J. Geils Band

What’s love got to do with it? —Tina Turner

50 Ways To Leave Your Lover —Paul Simon

Sure, passion’s all right in its place, especially in matters of religion. Nobody’s going to begrudge you your weekly tryst with God. But that kind of thing has a very limited shelf-life. Better to expunge the extraneous emotional baggage, to reduce the unreliable fits of passion to manageable (and respectable) principles. If it can’t be written down, trash it. It’s best that way. No fanaticism. No existential vagaries. No disappointments. Better to aim for Aristotle’s Golden Mean: avoid extremes and seek moderation in all things. A balanced life, that’s it. So what if you forfeit a few fleeting, giddy moments. What you gain is stability and sustainability in a world decidedly out of control. Passion is so damn wasteful; besides, it only gets you into trouble.

Iceman, baby. Be da Iceman.

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2 Responses

  1. The God thing is no fun without emotion. Like Rod Stewart sang, “Everybody needs some passion….”

  2. My favourite quote on love:

    …the idea of love was formed in the fragmented psyche of European man – the knowledge (or invention) of which was to make him the most vulnerable of creatures in the scale of being, subject to hungers which could only be killed by satiety, but never satisfied; which nourished a literature of affectation whose subject-matter would otherwise have belonged to religion – its true sphere of operation. How does one say these things?

    -Balthazar, Lawrence Durrell

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