When A Man Loves A Woman

There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness. 
– Friedrich Nietzsche (On Reading and Writing)

WHEN a man loves a woman, he treats her like a queen. He gives her everything he’s got, and more. Her every wish is his undying command, her every whim the desire of his heart. His is not to question why or give her a reason to cry, nor to argue why not and leave her high and dry; but to surrender completely, and be her slave if need be. 

He places her on a pedestal, to honor and cherish till the end. He worships the ground she walks on, leaving an intoxicating scent of roses in her trail. He smothers her with mushy displays of affection, rendering her breathless in midair.

He loves her not for the way she looks but for what she is, warts and all. She may come on like a hag or croak like a frog, but he only sees a vision and hears the voice of a lark.

When a man loves a woman, there is nothing he won’t do just to be next to her. He would climb the highest mountain, sail the seven seas, walk to the ends of the earth if he would find her here, there, or anywhere. He wastes no time, and hesitates not a minute, in asking her – on bended knee – what she is doing the rest of her life.

There is nowhere in the universe he’d rather be than where she is. He will face every danger, conquer every obstacle, just to breathe the same air she breathes. He would trade places with the devil, or give up all that is dear to him, just to be close to her and give in.

When a man loves a woman, he sets her free. He gives her space to exhale and grow, to live her own life and be her own person. He allows her to pursue her own dreams, nurture her own skills, shine on her own achievements. He casts a gentle shadow behind her — to nudge tenderly, not to overpower; to support unequivocally, not to compete against or be jealous of.

He waits patiently for her moment in time, secure in his place and undauntedly so. He prefers, invariably, to walk a step behind or to stand beside her; not walk a step ahead or stand in front of her, except to shield her from hostile forces. He is content to be the wind beneath her wings, the summer breeze that blows through the jasmines of her vulnerable mind.

When a man loves a woman, he doesn’t see the follies that she herself commits. He is blind to her sins of omission and little indiscretions. He is deaf to her protestations of imperfection and turns his back on those who try to put her down. No, she can never do anything wrong. She is either an angel or a saint, a goddess or a princess, a nymph or a temptress – flawless, faultless, infallible.

He is the first one to praise her, and the last one to condemn her. He extols her virtues, applauds her qualities, goes into raptures over her charms. He never blames her when she does commit a tiny bit of human frailty. To him, she will forever be the epitome of grace, the archetype of decorum, the model for near-perfection.

He watches over her like a lamb that’s lost in the woods, ready to pick up the pieces of her fragile world. He lives each day with music and poetry in his head, and the thought that consumes him is to be able to pluck her heartstrings and hold her at night.

When a man loves a woman, nothing else matters. The world can go hang for all he cares. He’ll sleep out in the rain if she tells him so, or jump over the cliff if she makes a pact with the prince of darkness. She can play him for a fool and bring him so much misery, but he’ll just string along and let her be.

“I cannot exist without you,” John Keats wrote to Fanny Brawne. “I am forgetful of everything but seeing you again–my Life seems to stop there–I see no further. You have absorb’d me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving–I should be exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you. I should be afraid to separate myself far from you…. I cannot breathe without you.”

The prolific author Nathaniel Hawthorne felt inadequate describing his wife Sophia:“Dearest,– I wish I had the gift of making rhymes, for methinks there is poetry in my head and heart since I have been in love with you. You are a Poem. Of what sort, then? Epic? Mercy on me, no! A Sonnet? No; for that is too labored and artificial. You are a sort of sweet, simple, gay, pathetic ballad, which Nature is singing, sometimes with tears, sometimes with smiles and sometimes with intermingled smiles and tears.” 

And the great Napoleon was a vanquished warrior in the presence of his beloved Josephine. In one of his letters, the lovestruck emperor intoned: “I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart! Are you angry? Do I see you looking sad? Are you worried? My soul aches with sorrow, and there can be no rest for your lover; but is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelings which overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart, a love which consumes me with fire? Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire.”

History and literature are replete with great tales of love and romance, many of them tragic, some with happy endings. Who can forget how the grieving ruler of India’s Mughal Empire built a monument, known as the Taj Mahal, to honor his young queen? Or the way Marc Antony defied the Roman Empire to protect the Queen of the Nile. Surely, the story of how King Edward abdicated his throne in order to marry the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, rings a familiar bell.

Lucky, indeed, is the woman who finds herself a man who will love her all the seasons of her life, not just for 15 minutes or so. But then again, Shakespeare wasn’t merely being facetious when he wrote:

“Men are April when they woo,
December when they wed.
Maids are May when they are maids
but the sky changes when they are wives.”

And Oscar Wilde: “When a man has once loved a woman, he will do anything for her, except continue to love her.”

repost from here: leonights

photo credits: internetphotosDotnet

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