This is a story of four people, all strangers to one another, who met on a train, and of how love touched their lives, in very different ways. Love is nothing out of the ordinary, even if we think it is; even if we idealise it, celebrate it in poetry, sentimentalise it in coy valentines. Love happens to just about everyone; it is like measles or the diseases of childhood; it is as predictable as the losing of milk teeth, or the breaking of a boy's voice. It may visit us at any time, in our youth but also when we are much older and believe we are beyond its reach; but we are not. It has been described as a toothache, a madness, a divine intoxication--metaphors that reflect the disturbing effect it has on our lives. It may bring surprise, joy, despair and, occasionally, perfect happiness.
Alexander McCall Smith
Great writing. Obvious contradictions. Love is certainly not ordinary. The complexities of love have enlivened centuries of literature, music, drama... Wars and crimes of passion are fueled by love and its opposite. Love is the driving force of all nature. Love is elusive; sometimes fleeting. We hunger for its constancy; fulfillment. We yearn for perfect love. Expect divine and expansive love. Yet, flee from Divinty. Perfect love casts out fear.