January 23, 2006

21: Falling

I don’t know exactly what it means to fall in love, or what I think about that, so I’m not sure how to talk about what was happening in Oxford between Jack and I. If the ways of love were a mystery to Solomon, will any of us ever really understand them? (Thus, the proliferation of books and songs and plays and movies about this one marvelous, mysterious thing.)

Fundamentally I believe that love is a verb, that it is doing things you may not feel like doing and giving and listening and generally putting someone else in front of yourself. And perhaps it’s not possible to make that kind of commitment for a lifetime without an initial rush of emotion. I only know that on Sunday night after we met and went to evensong and to the pub and walked home talking about our families and mornings and evenings that I knew this had potential. And Monday night I thought it could be serious. And by Tuesday night I knew—well, I’m not sure exactly what—perhaps that he was The Guy I Never Thought I Would Meet.

One thing that surprised me was the way my perception of time changed. There were so many significant moments, so many in each day that the days felt stretched into weeks, and by the end of the week, I wondered at feeling like we’d known each other for six months. (The contrast between days in Oxford and days at home—which could pass quickly with a couple loads of laundry, a movie, and a Target run—made me see time’s malleable subjectivity.)

Unlike other relationships I’ve had, my love for Jack seemed to have depth and stability, to be founded on mutual faith and genuine respect, honest intellectual conversations, strong doses of humor and comfort. So our attraction had something solid on which to play.

In some ways this Big Thing was a combination of hundreds of tiny, important things. (I’ll attempt to enumerate some of those in the next few posts without being tedious.) If alone they were small, together they were undeniable, pointing to something true and sound, of incredible value—pointing to us.

Or at least it seemed that way.


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