Monday, May 14, 2007

On the issue of love

I just finished the book Essays in Love, written by Alain de Botton. In a witty, but at times way too philosophical, way he treats the topic any reader can identify with, namely le mal d'être deux, that is being in love. I loved reading it, I kept laughing out loud as I recognized myself and others. There’s no point in listing examples here as then, I’d have to go on forever. Instead, get the book and get revealed (and no, I'm not bribed to say this :) ) It’s easier to mention the two thoughts I couldn’t quite embrace. Firstly, the character in the book states that we fall in love, hoping that the target of our feelings does not, like we do, possess any of the following: cowardice, weakness, laziness, dishonesty and pure stupidity. I’m not so sure. I believe that we choose not to focus on these traits when we’ve fallen head over heels in love. We perceive our beloved as a flawless ideal at first, but that’s something different than actually _hoping_ these characteristics don’t exist. And secondly, the hero of the book firmly believes that silence in company of an attractive person is beyond the shadow of a doubt a proof of you being an absolute, dreadful bore. I disagree. Silence is, to me, a sign of self confidence, courage, comfortableness, open-mindedness (!) and sexiness. In my opinion, the rate of inflation of words these days is very high. The less chattering, the better.


Mattias said...

Let's see... you like silence. That only means you are Finnish (or is it an Österbotten thing?). I'm Norrlänning, I like comfortable silence too.

Paeonia said...

It's definitely a Finnish thing, silence here is regarded as a valuable part of communication, not as an awkward pause between speeches. But I know you're fond of silence too, maybe it's a Nordic thing, I don't know. Now when I think of it, I don't like silence per se, but the sound of silence. When the chitchatting around you stops, when the TV set and the computer is switched off, other sounds that you don't frequently hear emerge and make their way into your mind. Now that is a great experience! Like yesterday, I actually became aware for the very first time of how well the noise from the motorway gets through the forest and into my apartment. After two years, I noticed that. Scary!