Love is the most difficult of all human things.
If I say “I love you”, that is not the end of it. It is merely the beginning of the beginning. Those words are not a culmination, but a promissory note, the first step on a long path. They’re a promise to work on the promise, with no firm destination guaranteed. Do not say “I love you”, and expect hosts to break out in Jubilate. Many say the words; few grasp their dread meaning. They mean that I, a human, take you, a human, and say that I will treat you as I would treat myself. Though I remain myself, and you remain yourself, there is now this third creature, suffused with us, coterminous with us, us more than us. It is a pledge to not hurt, to not break, to not soil. I will battle for all that is good to you; you will battle for all that is good to me. Sing “love”; but it is a song tinged with joy and suffering, gladness and sorrow. Do not sing the words if your voice can’t command the melody. But this, as always, is mere background noise. The trumpets blare, the chorus acclaims, and we hurtle on, thinking the words are enough.