Something Borrowed

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“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love,” wrote the German philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832). Even though they had lived together for 18 years and had one son, it was not until she physically saved his life during Napoleon’s invasion of Weimar in 1806 that Goethe married Christiane Vulpius. Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915, founder of the Arts and Crafts movement Roycroft in East Aurora, NY, was no stranger to love. His remark that “the love we give away is the only love we keep” was an emotive response to the stories of sacrifice that proliferated after the sinking of the Titanic in 1908. Sadly, he and his second wife Alice themselves perished at sea several years later. “At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet,” wrote the Greek philosopher Plato (428–348 BCE) in his dialogue, the Symposium. At the root of all virtue and truth, earthly love was something he generally believed was unattainable – indeed, it was Platonic. Not one to express himself solely with a string of mathematical equations, Albert Einstein (1879– 1955) relied on the metaphor of love to explain his concept of relativity:
“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love … sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.” The Lebanese author, Khalil
Gibran (1883–1931), explained all facets of life through the voice of the fictional prophet, Al-Mustafa. Of marriage, he wrote: “You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore. You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness, let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”

by Sarah King Head

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