Love settles. Like an old house, like a chronic pain. The points of greatest pressure give a little. It adjusts to the stresses. It grows quieter, maybe.
For some people, I'm told, love goes away. Vanishes. Mine never does. Loved once, loved always. I remember every love. I'm still in love with everyone I've ever fallen in love with, however foolishly; however I may have revised my opinion of them over the years, over the crossed wakes of a hundred departing lifetimes. But I've never lost track of that first catch of the breath, of that first wonder. Never hard to think my way back to that. Even angry, relieved, disillusioned -- I reach for that, and there it is.
What is it? That wonder?
I used sometimes to think it was an illusion, maybe, a trick of the species, hijacking the individual for its own purposes. But there's no need. Lust flourishes just fine in its absence. That's all the species needs. The wonder is something that I need. It's a glimpse of reality, maybe. A fleeting, premature understanding of just how deep, how necessary, how inevitable our connection is. The Buddha, maybe, looked at every single living thing with that wonder