Thoughts by Richard Bleil
The Beatles once sang “The best things in life are free”. They followed up with, “but you can leave ‘em for the birds and bees”.
The song was “Money”, and it suggested that money is “what I need”. It’s a bit of irony today since, as I understand it, since, according to the information I have found, Paul McCartney today is worth $1.2 billion and is the wealthiest singer-songwriter in the world, even over Bono who is worth only a measly $700 million.
I enjoy listening to Paul in interviews. He was once speaking about how his daughter would periodically bring a boy home on a date and how they would always be shocked when they saw him. He said that they knew her last name was McCartney, but never really put two and two together. But, he insisted, he’s just like an ordinary dad, just like any other guy, so he’d trot off into another part of the mansion to give them their privacy. You know, just like you would do.
I wonder how often Paul muttered, “I must have left that ten million in my other jacket”?
The reality is that I need money. I mean, seriously. But, as desperately as I need money, I don’t think I’d give up love for it. There’s something about being in love that just makes everything alright. Tomorrow the government might break down the door and drag me away for tax evasion but right here, right now, in her warm embrace, it’s just the two of us, together. There is no world out there. There are no problems. There is no need. There’s just us, and that’s enough for right now.
No, I’m not blogging while in another’s arms. That’s sheer projection. Sadly, right now, nobody would hold me in her arms anyway. Yes, I need money and love.
There’s a calm that covers like a warm blanket when you’re with your love. I do remember that, albeit barely. The mind and body can relax and let go. You think more clearly, you move more deliberately.
My friend was telling me about his then-girlfriend when he was taking calculus. Up late one night, he was running over and over one particular homework problem that he just couldn’t seem to get. His girlfriend wanted to make love, so he put the homework on pause and the two of them embraced in their impassioned affair, during which he had an epiphany on the homework problem. He literally put her on hold to get out of bed and finish the homework problem before returning to her.
Ooh, bad move, buddy. Well, he must have had something going for him, though, because his then-girlfriend is his now-wife.
Isaac Asimov called this the “Eureka Phenomena”. When our minds are so busy focusing on one problem, we just cannot force ourselves to see the solution. It’s not until we allow our minds to relax until the answer presents itself, much like a butterfly that runs as you chase it but will land softly on your shoulder when you sit quietly for a bit.
But it also shows that love is forgiving and understanding. I don’t know I’ve ever been fortunate enough to be with a woman who would have been understanding and forgiving enough for me to leave the bed and expect her to still be there on my return. Lucky guy.
This is turning out to be a better post than I originally expected considering the fact that I had no organized thoughts beyond the topic when I began. Go figure.
But love is also a risk. What ever happened to bands with real names, like Mott the Hoople, Strawberry Alarm Clock or Procol Harem? Another such band was Bread, who in their song “Baby I’m-a Want You” sang “You’re the only one I care enough to hurt about”. How incredibly prophetic this line is. I’ve never been hurt by a stranger. They can call me every name in the book, accuse me of anything they like, but if I don’t know them, then I cannot care about them, and as such, their words carry no power. When you give someone your love, you are also giving that person the power to hurt you. It’s a terrible sign for a relationship when it is no longer possible for that person to be able to hurt you. I’m not advocating that they should try or test it out, but I think we are all aware of when somebody has that power, and in a true loving relationship, there should be comfort in that. I’ve had enough relationships fall apart to know what it’s like to be vulnerable with another, and I know when I’ve become calloused in the relationship, when I’ve been hurt enough by her to have my defenses up so she cannot hurt me anymore. That is the end of the relationship.
So, if you are still reading this, and if you are in love, let me encourage you to go to that person and let them know how important they are to you. This isn’t a holiday (unless coincidently it is her/his birthday, the odds of which are one in three hundred and sixty-five), so let them be surprised by some act of love, some romantic surprise even if it’s just a warm, lingering embrace.