Thursday, 27 September 2012

What is love?

When I was 11 years old I read Anne Frank's diary. It had a very big impact on me, I was left with the echo of the book nestled into my memory for a very long time to come. At the time I was reading it Anne's age was not so far from my own and certainly, from the era in which she wrote it, her maturity was at the same level as mine. This allowed me to relate to her in a very powerful way, and she inspired me a great deal. She had written about going through things I was also experiencing at the time, growing up, leaving my little girl self behind and entering a new era of my own existence. What she said was very important to me, especially at that particular time in my life. I felt enormous respect for this girl who had so beautifully captured the essence and momentousness of leaving childhood behind and excepting this new mind and new body that is presented before you. And then anger and sadness that this wonderful, bright young girl had been so wrongly taken when such a future was ahead of her. Such abundance of brilliant life that this young woman had in her path that was cut short so cruelly, and so unjustly it is hard to comprehend.
One thing that was prominent to me in her diary was this wonderful description of what she interpreted love, romantic love, to be. At the time it wasn't particularly relevant to my life but I understood that this piece was so insightful and so beautiful and written by someone of such a young age, I felt compelled to write it down knowing I would want to some day go back to it. That day has not yet arrived, but I want to share with you the small paragraph I copied out from Anne's diary into my own with an element of intrigue as an 11 year old girl discovering who I was going to be.
"Love, what is love? I don't think you can really put it into words. Love is understanding someone, caring for him, sharing his joys and sorrows. This eventually includes physical love. You've shared something, given something away and received something in return. Whether or not you are married, whether or not you have a baby. Losing your virtue doesn't matter, as long as you know that as long as you live you'll have someone at your side who understands you, and who doesn't have to be shared with someone else."
I can't really explain why I felt the need to remember these words. I just know that I had an inkling these would and do mean something to me. And I understand them completely.