I met your messengers. Like anything noble, however, your heralds serve only to sketch your rough outline. The heaven I anticipate was once described as a sea of glass and fire. I suspect that when I see it, I will understand why the prophet chose those words. He will agree with me that that description only invokes the slightest likeness of the place.
Likewise, Love, you sent messengers that deployed their beautiful and inadequate likenesses of you. Adoration came first, with all her dizziness. That one filled me with a capacity to think only of her object. The first time I Adored (and yet, did not love), the sheen fell of everyone else in my world. I would have told you that she was the single most beautiful and wonderful woman in the world. As improbable as it may seem, that declaration would have been more true than you can imagine. I retrospect, I am still astounded by how much I meant it. The first time I was Adored was similarly overwhelming. Never before had anyone been willing to reconfigure her world around mine. As with all your messengers, Adoration only hinted at your qualities. The trouble with Adoration is that it asphyxiates the other faculties. One can sail pass the iceberg tips without noticing the perforated hull. Cold water around the ankles eventually serves to shatter the illusion. Adoration does server her purpose though. She hints at Forgiveness, and a willingness to ignore small faults which is inevitably part of real love.
Next, Love, you sent Inclusion. Those who Included me taught me their rituals and told me their secrets. I shared mine. Those moments of revelation were thrilling. Just as you trust a roller-coaster to move you in ways that are normally lethal, so too would the revelations of Inclusion be horribly dangerous under other circumstances. In the glow of Inclusion, one feels accepted and cherished; one has finally been allowed inside the private rooms of another’s mind. Inclusion, however, is insatiable. It must be fed with more secrets, more rituals, and more time. At its most grotesque, the desire for additional inclusion leads two people to conclude that the world contains nothing but the other. In inseparable misery, they learn that eventually there are no more secrets, and the thrill of disclosure cannot be replicated. Inclusion, however, hints at Intimacy. Two people who are Intimate participate in the constructive rhythm of life together. Secrets are shared, but the focus is on the sharing of virtues. Intimate pairs share new experiences, create new families, and build on each other’s strengths.
You have a host of other messengers, with their counterparts that live only inside real Love. I mention Adoration and Forgiveness, and Inclusion and Intimacy, only because those are the two pairs I have known best. Now that I Love another, I see for myself that you certainly include Forgiveness and Intimacy, but only in the same way that Heaven includes a sea of glass and fire. You are something altogether separate, greater than any of your parts.