Tell me about love

Wafa Kulsoom Khan


He asked:
Tell me about love
Is it a fixed state that lasts forever
Or is it a fluctuation between itself and hate
Is it an emotion or a spirit
That travels to possess you?
Or is it always living within you and waiting to awaken?
Is it for the memory of me or is it me myself?
What are its extensions and limits
If I don’t give you what you want,
Why does your body turn away?
Is that also a part of love, or does it mean some other energy has been created?
Or that something has been destroyed?
If I left you in that dark place, would you keep on loving me?
I want to play with the meaning of love.
I want ask if you would still love me even in the most difficult of positions:
If I am far away on the other side of the world, if I am rejected by your family, if our lives appear diverging instead of merging
I want to ask what is your concept of love?
You never know the true extent of something till you test it.
The few seconds of tension and trouble reveal the whole of a person
They may call themselves a lover, but they are ordinary

She replied:
Words are great at decorating things which are meaningless
Like political speeches and advertisements and textbooks
But two precious things in life: Love and God,
Are a beautiful mystery that want to remain hidden
So the more words are used for them, the more they slip away.
I can never explain love properly; to say the word is a lie
Once you experience it the heart is never same again
The candle only ever thought it was a candle
Until the fire came and lit it, it never knew what its purpose would be
That warm and bright substance, that gas which appeared to be made of ‘nothing’
The substance merged into my very self
And once lit, a candle can never forget that fire
The whole self is changed, some parts are burned or permanently melted
Into small droplets sliding down, solidified
The impression of love lasts forever
Can you carve out those melted parts of a candle?
It’s impossible, unless you ruin the entire candle
No one can be made an original again after falling in love
In fact, every human I have met I have fallen in love with, a little bit
But you, my dear, are the most lovely…

He replied (after thinking):
I found something even better
That is true acceptance and freedom
Freedom to be authentic to myself
To exist without censorship
To live life like a sailor on a ship
And not like the sad driver of a car stuck in morning traffic
I can choose which direction to go
I can flow on with life, or drown
At least the drowning will be more genuine than that boring car driver
Who sacrifices a part of his soul at every red light
Who is so afraid of death that he substitutes it will dullness and rule-following
I don’t like these exteriors and these outside people judging
I don’t like to be told about my behaviours and habits
I know how to liberate myself
I am a free man
Isn’t it the coward who ties himself down for others?
Why dedicate to one, when you can be free?

She replied:
What is love? What is sacrifice? You say they are same,
I say they are opposite.
To not love is the biggest sacrifice
The hands are full but the soul is empty
The gifts have materialised but the smile has vanished
In crowds it is easy to laugh but alone the heart senses something amiss
The soul becomes restless; sleep is disturbed..
Love is the gift which is free but invaluable
It began in me through the sight of something remarkable
That day I saw your silhouette against the descending sun,
Your eyes closed, contemplating
I fell in love with your silence
You became like a mirror reflecting the pond of existence:
I saw you swimming at the centre
At your peripheries, my family and friends
Soon strangers entered as well
My heart blossomed with affection towards life
Yes, love can be with anyone, but it all began with you
But my dear, your words are making me nervous
I wish you would tell me exactly
What do you wish to convey?

He replied:
The imagery you described is very complimentary
And it is true, you also affected me greatly
And I am very much attached to you
However there is a motive in my life greater than all other motives
I am a seeker and I am searching
You said it yourself: nothing can compete with the invisible world
The ether-like substance, somewhere between heart and mind
Is an interior built by none except yourself.
That is why, I am suggesting this modern concept of love
Is nothing but a prison
Designed by ancient patriarchy
Maintained by fear of loneliness
And extinguished by the thought of a meditator!
Who can know me except myself?
Who can know you except yourself?
Is it only fear of ourselves that is binding us
Sacrificing time, money, bodies for each other’s affirmation?
My dear, I am only suggesting
That you and I, may find freedom
In a way different to normal conventions.
By setting each other free
We would be like two pigeons, soaring in the sky of reality…

She replied:
I have always known you were an independent thinker
But what use is it, for us to break apart
Just to dive into the depths of individuality?
In fact, let’s go one step backwards:
Is there really an individual
To be isolated, caressed and analysed in depth?
When the poet reflects on their nature
They realise they are nothing. At the same time
They know, they are a part of everything
The ocean of life is made of many small waves
We rise for a moment,
Then die off and merge into the rest of the tide
Ready to be reborn again in another form, another event, another character
The same stories are repeated everywhere
Lovers understand this
And accept that being together
Is a more beautiful futility than walking alone.

He replied:
There are two types of individuality:
One is to go inside, of which you have discussed.
The second is to journey outside
To scale mountains, meet yogis
And live life according to the science of ancient scriptures.
It is not entirely antisocial. Some might even say,
The modern way of life is antisocial.
One family, one lover, one job
One name and one purpose
To play in the cogwheel of society.
The spirit of adventure is deadened
People learn to cheat to survive;
They say they are one thing, and they do another
Deluding themselves of fidelity;
They are proud of their identity and disappointed in their reality.
No! I don’t want to become a slave
Like a toy doll, going to school, marrying a woman, building a home
What is there to learn from stereotypical living?
Is the purpose to advance in this life, or to repopulate
Give birth to another?
I want to find Truth in this lifetime
Drink fresh water from the streams of the Himalaya
Cup my hands to earn my bread
See the senses and learn to overcome them
Befriend that monster, that lies in suffering
And know what Buddha termed salvation.
And once I have attained highly, I would emerge from
The decades long devotion
To revolutionise human society
To give others a glimpse of my own vision;
That would be in fact, a better type of Love
To spread amongst millions, rather than
To one tepid soul.

She replied: Now your perception of love is becoming more explicit:
It is a perversion to you, moulded by the rules of society,
It is a monogamy that makes you crave the other,
It is a mistake, that strips you of yourself whilst bathing you in the other.
My heart is withering at your bluntness,
The bitterness of ego is swelling in my chest
Wishing to both cry and insult you!
If you are not a poet, I cannot make you think like one
But let me give you my thoughts one last time, perhaps
It may touch your heart, either now or in future:
People sell truth in all forms and shapes
From my perspective there are two worlds, not one
The materialists clamour for the visible, and lose touch with the invisible, and
The monks search for themselves in the mountains, and leave their mothers crying at home
Truth is found somewhere in the middle
Truth is found effortlessly
In the same home Love lives in.
In fact
Don’t even bother looking for ‘Truth’:
It is only a substitute blind people claim for Love.

Well! There’s no point in talking anymore
Your heart is fixed and so is mine
I hope you find a bit of peace in your approach to life,
Life will watch and guide us in its own subtle way.