For every bitter divorce, painful break up and gut-wrenching chapter closed, there are stories like Jenna Levin's. The type that has such perfect beauty that you would think it was art rather than life. The details wrapping together like neat little presents.
"Early in the novel [Anna Karenina], Anna meets Vronsky in curious circumstances: they are at the railway station when someone is run over by a train. At the end of the novel, Anna throws herself under a train. This symmetrical composition—the same motif appears at the beginning and the end—may seem quite “novelistic” to you, and I am willing to agree, but only on condition that you refrain from reading such notions as “fictive,” “fabricated,” and “untrue to life” into the word “novelistic.” Because human lives are composed in precisely such a fashion. They are composed like music. Guided by his sense of beauty, an individual transforms a fortuitous occurrence (Beethoven’s music, death under a train) into a motif, which then assumes a permanent place in the composition of the individual’s life. Anna could have chosen another way to take her life. But the motif of death and the railway station, unforgettably bound to the birth of love, enticed her in her hour of despair with its dark beauty. Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress. It is wrong, then, to chide the novel for being fascinated by mysterious coincidences. … But it is right to chide man for being blind to such coincidences in his daily life. For he thereby deprives his life of a dimension of beauty."
Love in many ways is a search to assign beauty to the mandatory drudge of our human experience. As kids, we hear stories of fantastic, heroic and handsome princes who will sweep you off your feet and whisk you away from your distressing life. As adults, we watch Love Actually and endlessly dissect the ups and downs of that dream man who's name you don't yet know. He's out there somewhere, right? In Chinese culture, they say that you are born connected by a red thread that gets shorter and shorter until you finally are bound together with your other half. This is the only person in the world who is meant for you.
Does this symbolism really exist in our lives? When you meet "the one" will there be signs: he shares a birthday with your mom, your childhood dogs had the same name and you both mispronounce the same word? And if there are, do they really mean anything? Or is it just a coincidence on which you should base nothing?
Personally, I go through stages of being optimistic that this "love" thing really does exist. You catch little glimpses of it when you peer into other people's lives, or at least the way they present them. You feel your heart jump with a slight hope when you meet someone new.
And other times (like this morning), I'm so filled with cynicism that I must just walk around like a dark cloud, raining on everyone's little love parade. Should I look for someone that makes me feel all the things I've ever believed love to be? Or should I just find someone who I know I could stand for the next 50 years of my life? He might not be a Prince Charming, but he's handsome, nice and passable. I'll believe that I love him, but I won't believe in that fabled idea of a soulmate. We'll be happy, but I won't think he is "the one"...I'll think there is no such thing as "the one." And yet, there's just something that seems a little depressing about that.
Even in Jenna's story, they had to break up. Looking back, it seems to tie together, but at the time it must've felt so flawed. The fact is that they had to step away from each other in order to grow. If they hadn't broken up, she wouldn't have moved into his old neighborhood. He wouldn't have gone back to the coffee shop. And the beauty of returning to each other along this Mobius Strip wouldn't have been able to happen. This crazy love that didn't make sense was able to find a "novelistic" completeness.
Is there such a thing as a love that is "meant to be"? No idea. Even if it is the most destined of all destinies, there are going to be times when things are tough. But, when you know, I think you really do know. Trust everything about that.
This whole idea that there is only one person out there for you seems really unlikely. There are just so many fish in the sea. If there is only one match, does that mean that some of us just don't get matches? The population can't possibly be evenly split, right?
But, here's the thing...
Even the improbable is completely possible.