The parameters and articles of love change over the course of a lifetime. From our earliest experiences cradled in the arms of our parents and caretakers, we develop a sense of the shape and texture of attachment. 

Some elements take on greater prominence as we grow into adults who engage in companionate, romantic, and parental love. The ways we both give and receive affection change to suit the moment and object of that love. I experience a profoundly deep and abiding love for my daughter that applies to no other person, nor ever shall. My attachment to the beautiful brilliant women of my most intimate acquaintance cannot be compared to the enduring bond I share with my brave and brazen mother.

While all of these are precious and necessary, they are unto themselves none entirely sufficient. Though I detest the trite ubiquity of the term “soul-mate” I do know it attempts to encompass and illustrate a connection most humans crave above all others.

We begin to sketch the margins of this personified role when we come awake to the longings of our body; when these are clamoring at such pitch that all other considerations are lost in the din. Some people never move beyond this manner of framing the place inside they are asking others to occupy.

Ideally, as we become more who we really are, the parameters and expectations for this relationship also take on the nuance and scope of maturity. We learn enough about ourselves to see who and how we are; who and what we need.

I’ve referred before to the fact my own experience of this process had soundtrack. This morning, while I was listening to Jackson Browne, I realized that part of my template had always been hidden in the middle of a song about blue-collar struggle.

“We’ll make love until our strength is gone. And when the morning light comes streamin’ in, we’ll get up and do it again. Amen.”

That I have been fortunate enough to experience this kind of passion is one of the great blessings of my life. That it was heretofore all but unknown makes it seem almost like a miracle.  No pretending.