On The Possible Death of Romance

Somebody recently posed the question of whether or not romance is dead. This stirred up fervent replies in its defence from the few who overheard. And just the other day, I was asked if I’m romantic. Like a pile of sand swept out of sun-baked lethargy by the wind, the subject seems to worry a lot of people these days. First of all, some might say, “Romance? Why don’t we just start with being nice to each other again?” I hear about people who don’t think twice to help others in need, and I realise on a lot of levels many people have become isolated and scared to reach out.In fact, in this so-called Age of Aquarius, we principally tend to share our love only with those close to us, or strangers who captivate our motherly instincts, as in my case these last few days having no voice. I have been offered tea and healing advice by the bucket-load, and whilst it is endearing, it made me wonder how and with whom we ‘share the love’ these days.But I won’t question Aquarius today, and shall return to this noble and oft-ignored trait that can qualify us or not as lovers or re-ignite jaded relations…So, am I romantic, and what does that really mean?I bow down to the literary mammoths of yesteryear… Leo Tolstoy, Victor Hugo, P. B. Shelley, and countless other writers who have lured us to tears over twists of fate, lovers gone astray or set the foundations for love’s philosophy. I listen to songs that could send diabetics into a panic. I am a dreamer who grew up surrounded by the Arab and Roman heritage of my country, and carries these influences with me wherever I go. A little piece of Andalucía sits on my window ledge, 8,000 kilometres away from its place of origin.

But whilst I tie words together in a particular fashion at times, or drift away to distant worlds with lulling music, I am a firm believer in actions not over-coated sugary sentiments, and the more selfless the more genuine. I am known to do ‘stupid things’ for people at certain times, but these have not been limited to lovers. And I believe that showing them off is presumptuous, which is why I rarely talk about what I have done in the past. The curious will have to wait patiently and decide for themselves.

For me, it’s not a case of listing your accomplishments hoping to win somebody’s favour, or constantly fabricating ‘romantic scenarios’ because this would be contrived and potentially confuse the reality of one’s feelings.

The essence of a true romantic does not lie just in waltzing away to the Blue Danube or indulging in candle-lit dinners for two. Romantics often display their abilities in all elements of life – burning through adversity, courageously breezing past obstacles, washing away somebody’s pain simply by holding their hand, or planting their humility firmly in the ground where others brashly claim the spotlight.

Some of us may not consciously make time for romance the way others see it, but sometimes the simplest, most innocent gesture will be worth more than all the glasses of wine or sunsets we could share.

Romance is magic – that certain something you can’t always put to words. The impulsive spark that surprises you when you least expect it.

Ultimately, romance speaks for itself. And it is certainly not dead.

Anybody who wishes to challenge me on that is welcome to place their bets…

Calling All Stations

I’ve only lost my voice twice in all my life so far (and in the span of one year), so this forcefully imposed silence is still quite a novelty for me.

Once has admittedly been out of foolishness, staying out far too long and speaking far too much with an already-strained throat in a loud club… but the first arose out of, apparently, nothing. I simply woke up one morning and could not speak.

So it made me wonder why this happens. Many people these days are allowing themselves to think below the surface, embracing a mind-over-matter philosophy in life that, whilst some still may opt for a quick-fix solution and medicate themselves to overcome these obstacles as fast as possible due to time constraints, draws us closer to our mental-emotional reactions to all that we are experiencing.

Sometimes, we lose our voice when we most need to express ourselves. So it could be the case that losing one’s voice is beckoning us to find an alternative way of expression, and I don’t mean this in a physical sense. Perhaps we have some issues that require our attention, and we ignore them hoping they will resolve themselves. This stubborn silence will force us to revise this approach when we can’t communicate anything at all.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in the magical power of how silence can communicate better than any word or action at given moments – but whilst I generally know how to utilise it for myself (or how it affects me), I’m still learning how to interpret it in others.

Such a blockage could be an accumulation of concerns that pile up together and imprison any one in particular from release – much like racing cars speeding off at the green light, only to bottleneck at the first corner to avoid collision. Inevitably, it slows us down. Telephone conversations are practically eradicated overnight, resulting in slower methods of expression such as email, text, or gestures. This deceleration permeates our minds – allowing us to filter those very issues that have caused this to begin with.

Silence can provide answers while we pause for the reflection that can be often overlooked.

So whilst I try to bulldoze myself through this with copious amounts of tea, honey, ginger, lemon and anything else that will pacify and heal me on the physical plane, I can’t ignore my emotional responsibilities towards myself and others. And I would hope that the next time you are literally speechless, you take a little time out to question where you fell out of sync with yourself.