I’ve admitted that I am a prototypical romantic. What I’ve never disclosed is that it took me years – almost twenty of them – to make the cognitive and emotional distinctions between romance for romance’s sake and romance inspired by another. For too long in my life, my imagination conjured the romantic notion and it was proffered for the next or current woman in my life. In essence, I was a romance whore and used women as receptacles of my gestures.
The love note I wrote because I wanted to turn a phrase. The quarter in the jewelry box engraved with instruction to call me whenever. The earrings purchased because I remembered the mention of some obscure designer. The orchids. The dinners. The walks under the harvest moon. All were actions sometimes born of the cognitive rather than the emotional.
In the same way that writer’s block makes we wonder if I have exhausted my supply of meaningful words, a woman who doesn’t inspire my inner romantic used to make me wonder if I have hit my quota of gestures grand and small. I now understand that lack of inspiration to be simply a lack of inspiration.
This weekend reminded me of the desire to be inspired and to inspire, of the importance of not wasting romance.
That is a litmus equation where I must solve for variables on each side. Fortunately for me, John Coltrane swooped down on his saxaphone and taught me the formula.