While shocked and delighted to see my old friend, I was just a little wary. I wanted to ask, "Where have you been?" and "Why did you go away?" and "Are you here to stay?" But, I knew this slippery creature would only wriggle out of answering. No pinning him down on a black and white chart, no cornering him in the square box of logic and reason.
So I invited him in to tea and in a conversation that hopped from Einstein's Dreams to varieties of bamboo, from the Big Bang to the universal theory of toenail cells and from small towns to big art, a new thought was born. All things being connected, love and science are not frenemies but soul mates on the same spiraling dance toward the universal.
"It's all about the scientific method," my chipper friend offered.
When I asked, "How's that?" he only grinned, grabbed his hat and called, "Later gator."
Curious, but now forced to fall back on my old resources, I headed to Wikipedia and read:
"The chief characteristic which distinguishes a scientific method of inquiry from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, supporting a theory when a theory's predictions are confirmed and challenging a theory when its predictions prove false."
"Great!" I thought. And how is one supposed to confirm or challenge something as misty as smoke … as ephemeral as this thing called love? A dream offered a metaphorical way in … I saw a thousand tiny doors opening in my heart and through each door breathed an invitation, "Come … explore … share." Following the trail of that metaphor, I created the following hypothesis … the starting point of "letting reality speak for itself" …
In the beginning, when two hearts connect, hundreds of tiny doors open allowing energy to flow back and forth. A conversation of sight and sound is born, sometimes opening more doors as stories reveal shared connections, sometimes closing doors when the energy isn't strong enough to leap the gap from the doors of one heart to the doors of the other.
As more doors open and the flow of energy brightens, touch flips a switch and a thousand more doors open and the flow of energetic connection becomes a two-way stream with the strength to carry hopes and dreams, secrets and fears. Love strolls in and asks, "Shall we dance?"
Sometimes we accept and more doors open as taste and smell amp up the conversation creating a bright, nourishing glow called "being in love." Sometimes boulders in the stream divert the flow and it loses the strength to carry the energy both ways and doors begin to close, the stream slows, weakens and may even become a dry creek bed nourishing nothing. The connecting energy of love disappears.
In the bright afternoon of the conversation, shadows often appear at one of the doors, pulling it closed and then charging around trying to shut the others in a fear-filled scramble of self-protection. As the doors on one side shut, energy is lost, the conversation stutters. Love gets stuck sitting on the bank and two hearts break.
Unless … the stream is strong enough and it has been carefully cleared of rocks and boulders.
Unless ... the conversation of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell has woven a tapestry of intimacy with golden threads of stories, laughter, shared values, hopes and dreams, acceptance of secrets and fears … a tapestry of safety and unconditional embrace that can be wrapped around the shadow.
When that happens, love smiles and says, "until death parts us."
Later, my hoppy friend returned and asked, "Is there more tea? With mint this time, please."
I told him my hypothesis and asked, "Is this how it works?"
He said, in his maddeningly mysterious way, "I guess you just have to try it out. Have the conversation. Remove the rocks and boulders. Weave the tapestry. See if it holds."
I just shook my head and passed the cookies.