"I love you."
How did she react?
"I love you, too."
How did I feel?
A while ago someone asked, "What is the most beautiful compliment you can think of?"
I replied, "I love you. because that integrates the complete person. It does not just point out one aspect of someone's being, like a character trait or even an ability of theirs. It's nothing they do and nothing they have but every single thing they are regardless of what anybody, including me and them, thinks about these things."
I love you. The huge statement. Sometimes the hardest, always the greatest. Love. What is that?
I can't say. Every time I have tried to define it philosophically I gave up at some point, feeling like I was moving further away from love instead of approximating it. Words are limited. That limitation makes them too small for love. All I can do is describe. And feel.
In previous posts I have said: It's what everything comes down to.
And that I am convinced there are various types of love. Personal love, universal love, parental love, romantic love- countless concepts, discussed for centuries. Whichever idea you go for I don't think one of them is more valuable than another. Maybe there are as many kinds of love as people on this planet.
Honest compliments come from a place of love, too. I can look at a stranger with loving eyes and that will make me find beauty. Love = devotion? Devotion is a part of it, yes. But love is more. It always is.
The kind of love I look at my friend Resi with sure is devotional. But it's not momentary. It's constant. I may not always be in touch with it but it is always there. I am not in control of it. It makes me want her to be happy. And it makes me happy when she's around. Just because she is who she is. Again, not because she does or has or is any particular thing- but herself. Including all the particular things she is. All the women there are within her. And the kids. And the grannies. And the dudes. And the shadows. And the sparkles. And...
Now it's not like I can't look at her with the compliment love I regard strangers with, too: I recognize she has an amazing singing voice. It's crystal clear and gives me goose bumps. Also I enjoy her genius when it comes to fixing a quick yet tasty dinner. For clothes and interior she is all about romantic flowers. Her style is specific, it makes me find gifts for her everywhere I go- I admire her clarity in taste. I love her points of view because she is always well informed and reflects a lot. She listens to Wagner, Bach and Avishai Cohen- AND Andrew Lloyd Webber! What a great lack in musical dogma! She reads Kafka before falling asleep and her sheets always smell like a sea of flowers. Her passion for Jägermeister-RedBull makes her eyes sparkle so honestly I can't even dish her for it even though it's disgusting. She possesses a hundred dresses and goes to the opera house. She glows when telling you about another Puccini, Mozart or Bizet staging she has just attended. A day later you will find her dancing at an electronic music festival. Or backpacking in South East Asia. Or hanging out at her grandma's (the most amazing senior I know) in the country. Staying true to herself her fridge has been containing the same stuff for years and whenever I see semi mature Gouda, green Pesto or salted butter I think of her. And smile. We lived together for two years, she really was my home when I desperately looked for one. Words cannot express how grateful I am for her being there for me when I needed her. If it wasn't for her and her family I might not be around anymore. She cares. And sees right through me when I don't. She feels and loves and yet stays real in what she recommends and how she evaluates situations: Resi is the one who tells you things you don't want to hear. A true friend.
You know the thing is, if you compliment someone on the street you can give in to that moment, that person, their spark. And experience immense beauty. You will be able to phrase it because the encounter is bound through time. There is a clear before-during-after. What I feel for Theresa is timeless. I have known her for too long to put who she is into words. Or who we are. When you meet someone new and fall for them, no matter if friend or partner, praising them is easy. You've had eyes rolling to your 10th statement about how great someone you've just met is, and what they do, and what you learn from them, haven't you? I have. Don't get me wrong, it's not like Resi does not surprise me still. I have a constant crush on her even after seven years, after all she is the greatest person. But if I were to describe her to someone who didn't know her it'd be a hard task. Because words are not enough. She is not just a crush, she is so much more. Obviously. When I talk about her it makes me climb down within myself and hang out in that chamber in which I feel the deepest and strongest connection to her. It's warm in there and full of smiles. And tears. And sighs. Hugs, great wishes for her, jokes to make her laugh, hands to hold her and ease her when she is in pain. Uncountable memories, all around the globe. Little words, no explaining. Just feelings.That inner place is not where a crush will take place. It's not a one I open to many people either. And it's definitely not the place in which I analyze the notion of love. It's the place I call home.
Resi leaves for Israel tomorrow. Six months Jerusalem. I hope her new friends will get what a diamond they are blessed to be with. And I will miss her like crazy.