One of my favorite poets, Rainer Maria Rilke, defines love as follows: Love consists in this…..that two solitudes protect, and touch and greet each other.
For some reason, that one phrase has stayed in my heart for years….. He wrote the poem in the 19th century, but he defined love as we have come to scientifically and emotionally understand it. My interpretation:
Two Solitudes: The word solitude means being alone, but In this context, I interpret the phrase to mean: two separate beings, independent of each other and responsible for self, yet longing for connection—as we are all wired to want….
To Protect Each Other: I take this to mean: being there for each other in times of need, when feeling vulnerable and alone, to empathize with your love mate when she/he is feeling hurt or anxious or unsure even if the feelings are sometimes for the moment, not based in reality.
To Touch. Any intimate relationship is strengthened and nurtured by touch—holding hands, arms around each other, embracing, massaging, cuddling, kissing and yes, when making love. And emotionally touching each other’s heart by the love we give.
To Greet…….is to welcome your love-mate’s presence upon meeting, to connect with loving eyes and words, to hug….to express interest in the other’s day or his/her inner reality and feeling known.
And that is what love consists of, each and every day. So be it.