Did I really hang the entire book, White Banners, which explored all those noble ideals of peace and forgiveness, so beautifully onto that one thin thread of romance?
Am I that single-minded? Am I that simple minded? Was that really all that impressed me? Am I really that shallow?
Am I still a hopeless fanatical romantic?
I wonder about all of this out loud as Cliff and I are driving home from the lake after spending time with our wonderful family, feeling blessed and alive.
"I am thrilled with my career life, but I still still think I would have been just as happy if I had been a simple romance writer like Danielle Steele."
I'm a verbal processor and it rings true. Even as I am saying it, I can see it. I visualize a shelf of romance books, with the naivety of Grace Livingston Hill, profundity of Lloyd C. Douglas, and the appeal of Danielle Steel's best sellers.
I don't have any serious regrets about my life. I realize my limitations. In the one romance I did write, all the readers fell in love with the villain. I also have way too many fundamental, christian hang-ups to be a true-to-life romance writers.
So as I am practicing saying it just to see if it fits, I roll it around in my mind for awhile and it sticks. The thought satisfies something in me. I really truly would have loved to have been a simple, successful and popular romance writer writing laying claim to a series of books - all of course with a touch of meaning. It isn't the promise of money in it -- just that row of successful romance books.
"Really?" Cliff is obviously horrified.
I mull it over in my mind again in the light of his reaction, and yes it still feels true.
I would give up all my writings for a string of romances. I tell him again.
We just laugh. It seems all so silly.
But then that evening, as we are watching the highlights of the Olympic games in Rio, the host announces that they have complied the best of the Olympic moments. He is so excited.... I expect to see gold medal performances of extra-ordinary athletes -- flying through the air - defying all odds - after all the Olympics are all about athletic excellence, discipline, and competition.
But instead he shows a string of rare touching moments that have nothing to do with the athletic gold medal competitions. He shows New Zealands's Nikki Hamblin helping US runner Abbey D'Agostino up after a tumble pn the track. There are flashes of Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse's bromance. There are tears as the winners stand on the podium listening to the national anthems - their love of country shines through.
I was shocked. The whole Olympia - is really about love and the miracle of connections.
I feel redeemed.
Perhaps -- I"m not that wrong to be intrigued with romance.
Perhaps it is the greatest miracle of all - when there are two people who can love each other openly.
And the next day - I realize, even if I might not be writing about love - I am in the "love business."
Late in life, I have entered into a coaching career – and my practice is mainly couple counselling.
I thought that given my life-experience I would attract "trauma" patients. I have some - but I don't find that I am particularly gifted in that area. It seems I attract and help couples with their relational problems. I help them communicate.
To tell you the truth, there is simply nothing more beautiful or satisfying for me when after a session or even during a session - something is said that brings the tears. Then there is that instinctive touch of the hand. The eyes begin to glow. There is new understanding. The mess of the misunderstandings have been swept away to make room for the old love - or is it new love - not that it matters. Love comes - and the transformation takes my breath away.
Marriage isn’t exciting because one remains in love the whole time – but because one is always falling in love again and again, and again. It might be reviving the old love - or igniting a new love - not that it matters because when it happens it is always a miracle of love.
Let's face it! Romance is what makes the world go round…. (And yes – I am smiling)
Lloyd C. Douglas birthed his ideas in his novel of peace, vulnerability, and forgiveness in a romance.
He was a genius.
On closer look, by originating the ideas in a romance, he has construed a way to keep the feeling of love throughout. It is also very apparent, that this woman Hannah - is motivated by love - not just romantic love. It might start there, but then it moves into a mother love - then to a friend love, an employer love, business love, creative love, a God love -- and finally an enemy love.
Forgiveness that isn't buried in love - isn't forgiveness at all. Love is the hidden but essential backdrop for everything noble and wonderful.
I have realized anew that even though I am now and always will be a self-confessed, incurable romantic - and proud of it. (And yes, I am smiling.) I am redeemed by the greater picture.
It is really all about love in whatever form it takes.
“We must never cease from exploring. At the end of all of our exploring will be to arrive at where we began and know the place for the first time.” - T.S. Elliot