Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
It is a remarkable thing to see and recognize my own resilience and comittments to the things I am responsible for. In short, it means I can understand the difference between my youth and my present. In another context, it means I can be in the presence of a horrible (or wonderful) mood swing and never lose sight of the fact that there will come a moment when I don’t feel those things.
That’s really, really hard to do. There are lots of things in my daily life which can cause me to feel guilty or like I have failed. Sometimes I do feel that way, but most of the time I’m able to keep a realistic perspective on the situation and that keeps me from doing things which I would feel bad about later. So in general I’m very proud of me.
I’m not good at understanding Shakespeare, but I’ve read the above sonnet several dozen times today and keep getting something different from it. Romantic love is not free. Nor easy. Nor unconditional. The primary cost is the opacity of some part(s) of life. It takes a sophisticated individual to weigh that cost-benefit-analysis realistically.