From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
By Louis de Bernières
It would take a stern heart indeed not to be moved by Louis de Bernières’ incredibly perceptive description of true love, as laid out in his best-selling novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. He uses imagery that conjures up the strong, solid and non-starry foundation of a partnership while neatly sidestepping any of the usual clichés about budding flowers and blossoming trees.
Love is a temporary madness,
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness,
it is not excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being “in love” which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.