To love is not to look at one another: it is to look, together, in the same direction.
I learnt of this quote, way back in college, when we used to do really funny things like write down quotes that we liked, in a diary or a notebook. Like, on real paper and real ink. No, kids, we did not have Google notebook or Diigo those days. Life was a bit more linear and serial access then. Unlike the random access we have today. Interestingly, I was being taught the mathematics and algorithms-type of things that enable random access and other such things.
So, I liked it because I read it in some book (not on a web page) and wrote it down. Those days it appealed to me, but I confess it did not make much sense. Those days, I was in love with the concept of being in love, rather than being in love with somebody. But I did not know that, so I was searching for that somebody.
I took that quote a bit literally, then. Over the years, it started making a different meaning, each time I read it. Every time I was in love or thought I was in love. Very recently, this quote resurfaced in a conversation after a very long time. It played out in a photo I had taken, and the conversation grew from there. Very few people know this quote, and to find, amongst friends, those that have lived by it, is a rare blessing indeed.
I find comfort in philosophy. Direct meanings seldom make complete meaning for me. Direct meanings often have a way of deflecting attention from that which in inherent. And if we do not attempt to understand that which is inherent, we walk on a thin wire with the threat of landing on the uncushioned surface of superficiality. But philosophy does not come to me easily. I have to make an effort. And it has become better with practice, so much, that I often miss the obvious. Not quite smart, often.
The easiest way to communicate — is to face the other and express. More often than not, it is taken at face value, a meaning is presented and a meaning (usually the same) is received. And it works well in most situations — even when in love (or, perhaps — especially when in love). It is an altogether different experience though, when you make meaning together without having to look at each other and present and receive a meaning wrapped in words or gestures. The “direction” is not towards a point in 3D where we focus our energies. It is not near or far. It is neither an object nor the infinite. To my mind, it is the same intersection of thought and emotion being experienced by both, at the same time, in the same manner, without having to ever utter, and more importantly — confirm it. It is a sense of unity, of being one. It is an exhilarating experience; and I feel privileged to know it.
Locked, intertwined, and meshed into a single lump of forever love.
Paul Simon, to the rescue, again:
You take two bodies and you twirl them into one
Their hearts and their bones
And they won’t come undone
That’s what happens, when we look in the same direction, together.