Although I do not have banks of data or spreadsheets at hand, it seems to me that in the global economy of love, demand exceeds supply.
We are lovers by nature, but need priming. To feel ourselves as lovable lovers is to be alive. But then there’s this: believing we’re unworthy of love, we warp and contort and grasp at love. We preen, pose and posture, finally reject, resent and envy those who we believe are succeeding in love.
It’s a daily shot of love we need. Because like Pablo Neruda says, "Love is short and forgetting is long." An explosion of love lasts for a season, but without a regular ration of love we drift toward a desolation of soul—the final form of poverty. Without a love subject, even one who is ordinary and flawed, we derail and die.
Because at the centre—at the “soft animal of our bodies”—is an ember of desire that burns to make love happen. It brings me to you, and "thou to I" in the perennial longing to be each other’s joy. It holds us to the green blue surface of this earth, gives us a place "in the family of things," makes us good, makes us do good.
Calvin says our centre is depravity. Says we are fatally fallen and can only do good through a supernatural endowment of faith. Catholics say we are fallen—but created good, and just need to participate, in faith, with our inherent goodness. Buddhists and Baha’i and most humanists say we are good at the core, but forgetful.
All I know is that not many of us are saints. But most of us on many occasions, because of encountered love, and because we are lovers, can be saintly.
But then we do not need to be saints. All we need is a surplus of love over resentment. Consider a world where in the economy of love, supply exceeds demand. Is it not attainable?
WILD GEESE by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.