Wednesday 28 January 2009

Love in the time of…

Well, no, not cholera – as to my knowledge it’s not rife in London right now.

Anyway, I have never read this book and I must confess that until this morning, I didn’t even know anything about it, beyond the title that is. But it’s a title that I couldn’t get out of my head. Literally, it was buzzing around in my brain all morning like an annoying fly. I had a gut instinct that I needed to know about this book. So, I finally Googled it and read the synopsis.

And here it is:

Meet Fermina Daza, the main character of the story. Fermina easily rejects Florentino Ariza because his love seem naïve and instead weds Juvenal Urbino at the age of 21 – the age she told herself she would be married by. She chose Juvenal because he seemed to be able to offer security and love to her.

The cholera bit comes in, as Urbino is a physician, committed to the eradication of cholera. Urbino provides a stark contrast to the romantic Florentina, who let’s face it by the sound of it was Fermina’s great love.

Anyway, in the end, Fermina see a change in Ariza and their love is allowed to blossom once more in their old age. For most of the novel, their communication is limited to correspondence by letter; not until the end of the book do Fermina and Florentino converse at length.

What a waste of life! It’s not a dress rehearsal you know! And what’s with all this time limit stuff, woman!?

And, this is where I have been stuck in thought recently on this whole love scenario. You search for it – you find it – it proves to be not quite what you expected, so you give it up. Then, you settle for something in a panic you think will give you what you need because, after all, time is running out on whatever life plan you have drawn for yourself.

But this can never work – when does panic buying ever work? I have unworn clothes and shoes to illustrate this point! So then you ultimately realise you should have stuck with the love you deemed not quite right for the weirdest of reasons.

But what if love really can be thrown away for a whole lifetime? Is love really a fantasy – played out unrealistically through books and films – giving us unrealistic expectations?

Sometimes in daydreams, I imagine myself with hearing again – I imagine how it would change my life, I chase after that unattainable goal. And I think I, and a lot of other people are guilty of doing that with love, too.

Isn’t it about time we started going after the attainable? The real? I think I’ll go to Borders at lunchtime and buy that book – perhaps I can learn someone else’s lesson.


Anonymous said...

I haven't read the book but I have seen the movie. The first half is boring but it gets progressively better. I must say that I agree with your sentiment about 'time' and it 'running out'. There is a lot of socialisation in putting a time-limit on love. There may be hope for you, however, as there are theorists who have suggested getting rid of the concept of time all together. How would we live without 'time'? I don't know. But I think it would be fascinating to try.

Me said...

so is there only hope for me if theorists manage to get rid of the concept of time?
This is NOT good...


Anonymous said...

Nah, you can do it! I've just read a great book - A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and he suggests that a way to live without (clock) time is to always live in the 'now' and stop thinking about past and future. Only live in the present moment, being fully aware of what's happening in reality, instead of living in thoughts of past or future. Try it!! I've been trying it and its definitely less stressful!

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