For Valentine's Day


For Aaron, from our wedding ceremony:

"When a man meets the half that is his very own, then something wonderful happens; the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don't want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment. These are the people who finish out their lives together and still cannot say what it is they want from one another.

No one would think it is the intimacy of sex  - that mere sex is the reason each lover takes so great and deep a joy in one another. It's obvious that the soul of every lover longs for something else; his soul cannot say what it is, but like an oracle is has a sense of what it wants, and like an oracle it hides behind a riddle.

Suppose two lovers are lying together and Hephaestus stands over them and asks "What is it you human beings really want from each other?" And suppose they're perplexed and he asks them again:

"Is this your heart's desire, then, for the two of you to become parts of the same whole, as near as can be, and never to separate day or night? Because if that's your desire, I'd like to weld you together and join you into something that is naturally whole, so that the two of you are made into one. Then the two of you would share one life, as long as you lived, because you would be one being, and, by the same token, when you died you would be one not two in heaven.

Look at your love, and see if this is what you desire: wouldn't this be all the good fortune you could want?

No one who received this offer would turn it down. No one would find anything else more precious."

- The Speech of Aristophanes, The Symposium, Plato.