“There are some touching illusions which are, perhaps, sublime realities.”—Victor Hugo, Les Miserables


                “The reduction of the universe to a single being, the expansion of a single being even to God, that is love.

                Love is the salutation of the angels to the stars.

                How sad is the soul, when it is sad through love!

                What a void in the absence of the being who, by herself alone fills the world! Oh! how true it is that the beloved being becomes God. One could comprehend that God might be jealous of this had not God the Father of all evidently made creation for the soul, and the soul for love.

                The glimpse of a smile beneath a white crape bonnet with a lilac curtain is sufficient to cause the soul to enter into the palace of dreams.

                God is behind everything, but everything hides God. Things are black, creatures are opaque. To love a being is to render that being transparent.

                Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the attitude of the body may be, the soul is on its knees.

                Parted lovers beguile absence by a thousand chimerical devices, which possess, however, a reality of their own. They are prevented from seeing each other, they cannot write to each other; they discover a multitude of mysterious means to correspond. They send each other the song of the birds, the perfume of the flowers, the smiles of children, the light of the sun, the sighings of the breeze, the rays of stars, all creation. And why not? All the works of God are made to serve love. Love is sufficiently potent to charge all nature with its messages.

                Oh Spring! Thou art a letter that I write to her.

                The future belongs to hearts even more than it does to minds. Love, that is the only thing that can occupy and fill eternity. In the infinite, the inexhaustible is requisite.

                Love participates of the soul itself. It is of the same nature. Like it, it is the divine spark; like it, it is incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable. It is a point of fire that exists within us, which is immortal and infinite, which nothing can confine, and which nothing can extinguish. We feel it burning even to the very marrow of our bones, and we see it beaming in the very depths of heaven.

                Oh Love! Adorations! voluptuousness of two minds which understand each other, of two hearts which exchange with each other, of two glances which penetrate each other! You will come to me, will you not, bliss! strolls by twos in the solitudes! Blessed and radiant days! I have sometimes dreamed that from time to time hours detached themselves from the lives of the angels and came here below to traverse the destinies of men.

                God can add nothing to the happiness of those who love, except to give them endless duration. After a life of love, an eternity of love is, in fact, an augmentation; but to increase in intensity even the ineffable felicity which love bestows on the soul even in this world, is impossible, even to God. God is the plenitude of heaven; love is the plenitude of man.

                You look at a star for two reasons, because it is luminous, and because it is impenetrable. You have beside you a sweeter radiance and a greater mystery, woman.

All of us, whoever we may be, have our respirable beings. We lack air and we stifle. Then we die. To die for lack of love is horrible. Suffocation of the soul.

                When love has fused and mingled two beings in a sacred and angelic unity, the secret of life has been discovered so far as they are concerned; they are no longer anything more than the two boundaries of the same destiny; they are no longer anything but the two wings of the same spirit. Love, soar.

                On the day when a woman as she passes before you emits light as she walks, you are lost, you love. But one thing remains for you to do: to think of her so intently that she is constrained to think of you.

What love commences can be finished by God alone.

                True love is in despair and is enchanted over a glove lost or a handkerchief found, and eternity is required for its devotion and its hopes. It is composed both of the infinitely great and the infinitely little.

                If you are a stone, be adamant; if you are a plant, be the sensitive plant; if you are a man, be love.

Nothing suffices for love. We have happiness, we desire paradise; we possess paradise, we desire heaven.

                Oh ye who love each other, all this is contained in love. Understand how to find it there. Love has contemplation as well as heaven, and more than heaven, it has voluptuousness.

                “Does she still come to the Luxembourg?”

                “No, sir.”

                “This is the church where she attends mass, is it not?”

                “She no longer comes here.”

                “Does she still live in this house?”

                “She has moved away.”

                “Where has she gone to dwell?”

                “She did not say.”

                What a melancholy thing not to know the address of one’s soul!

                Love has its childishness, other passions have their pettinesses. Shame on the passions which belittle man! Honor to the one which makes a child of him!

                There is one strange thing, do you know it? I dwell in the night. There is a being who carried off my sky when she went away.

                Oh! would that we were lying side by side in the same grave, hand in hand, and from time to time, in the darkness, gently caressing a finger—that would suffice for my eternity!

Ye who suffer because ye love, love yet more. To die of love, is to live in it.

                Love. A somber and starry transfiguration is mingled with this torture. There is ecstasy in agony.

                Oh joy of the birds! It is because they have nests that they sing.

Love is a celestial respiration of the air of paradise.       

                Deep hearts, sage minds, take life as God has made it; it is a long trial, an incomprehensible preparation for an unknown destiny. This destiny, the true one, begins for a man with the first step inside the tomb. Then something appears to him, and he begins to distinguish the definitive. The definitive, meditate upon that word. The living perceive the infinite; the definitive permits itself to be seen only by the dead. In the meanwhile, love and suffer, hope and contemplate. Woe, alas! to him who shall have loved only bodies, forms, appearances! Death will deprive him of all. Try to love souls, you will find them again.

                I encountered in the street, a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat was worn, his elbows were in holes; water trickled through his shoes, and the stars through his soul.

                What a grand thing it is to be loved! What a far grander thing it is to love! The heart becomes heroic, by dint of passion. It is no longer composed of anything but what is pure; it no longer rests on anything that is not elevated and great. An unworthy thought can no more germinate in it, than a nettle on a glacier. The serene and lofty soul, inaccessible to vulgar passions and emotions, dominating the clouds and the shades of this world, its follies, its lies, its hatreds, its vanities, its miseries, inhabits the blue of heaven, and no longer feels anything but profound and subterranean shocks of destiny, as the crests of mountains feel the shocks of earthquake.

                If there did not exist some one who loved, the sun would become extinct.”—Victor Hugo, Les Miserables


                To love is a choice.  To feel affection in cause to love’s beginning is to sense God’s touch in Destiny.  Affection is the soul-stirring that begins heart-movements in faith.  To choose love after is to answer God’s will and live as Destiny leads. 

                “A smile is the same as sunshine; it banishes winter from the human countenance,” and so it was. 

                It lived for Ryan on summer eve in the light of ending day when sky’s soul spills forth in full colors of expression: fire reds, orange, pinks, magentas, and violets that hue and shade the under-shadow of accent clouds.  He saw her in the emanance of sky’s soul: a smile and heart—both golden and crimson red—and in her face, he perceived light of a living star, a sun and order of Heaven, present and unnoticed, walking in the world.

                He did not know how or in what way, but in witness of her light; his world and life were changed.  An ugliness washed clean.  Inspiration affected, and the silencing of his spirit felled the bonds of its own self-suppression.  In witness to the light of her, he was moved again to belief in his own.

                The memory of her in painted soul sky and affection after lived in him forever.

                He did not want to love her in the way world spoke of love.  He did not want to have her in that way of lusts that leave the beautiful ugly, the blessed defiled, and what—when true—raises and embodies spirit; but, when for the selfishness of self, ends in after emptiness. 

                If that was love, he did not want that.

                He desired something more; something new, or lost, and only in her discovered and restored again.  His heart was moved with a restlessness that would not leave him be; a restlessness that overrode rational and cautious mind to create and give of light and soul. 

                Destiny affected.  Its winds and movement, by sweep of God’s hand moved Ryan in spite of beginning fear, doubts, and disbeliefs. 

                When Destiny appears, one can respond, or run, but there is no denying the magnificence and fearful burden of its appearance.  The Dream appears: a path and end one sees as true even if impossible from one’s position in the present. 

Destiny affected.  His heart was touched.  Ryan began movement understanding by revelation that such was a truer Love. 

                He could not forget her light, the stirring of his soul; its affection that filled him with desire to create, give, and share. 

                Who was she?  What did she love?  What did she do?  What did she dream?  How could he learn?

                Infinite questions, equal unknowns; and only faith in possibilities to move him forward.

                He wrote alone, seeking to clear his soul, but that was not enough.  A spirit drawn in desire to commune with another cannot find peace in the solitude of self.  There is a reason souls are drawn.  This reason is Destiny.

                In reticence and faith, he began to share, casting rays into the world from his own beginning soul’s glow.  He shared his light, symbols of spirit to Universe and God in prayer they might find and speak to her. 

                Some days, he believed she saw.  He believed she recognized elements of his spirit in resonance to hers.  In this belief his spirit shone the more. 

                To believe was absurd.  To believe was foolish.  He accepted both as these truths, and still he wrote. 

                Though it may seem to some as such, God and Destiny do not leave man to a single moment of fate to discern and find their way—one single chance at revelation and understanding to one’s piece and purpose in the greater order of God’s Design.  No, when man begins to perceive the truths in God’s showings, signs appear the more to guide, lead, and encourage soul in continued course and movements of faith: Love—if that is the word for God’s Plan lived. 

                Affirmations showed: light of the sun, soul hues in the eve, messages read in books—how one story would lead and guided Ryan to the next—and signs his words were seen. 

                Ryan spent the darkness of his morning in the dreams of others—books—and in their stories, he was moved the more in thoughts of her.  In his desire to will and show the fullness of his heart to her, but not knowing or seeing how, Destiny signed. 

The answer was in a book, buried in the volume of its thousand pages, offered to him a friend—a friend entering into battled engagement with his own life’s Destiny. 

                The book was a story of Love—God’s Love—and its story returned Ryan to a spirit in full belief of Dreams, Destinies, the magnificence of God’s Designs and order that entwine us all together in a lived Divinity and romance that cannot be understood in the minds of man’s reason but is perceived in movements of the heart, alignments of time, place, and spirits.  And so it was in the story, a young man’s meeting, passing, and witness to God in the living light of a woman.

                Just as the character in story, Ryan fell into the romance, convinced in belief and dream that lived in mind and spirit before ever showing sign in immanent world.  Such was transcendence affecting to shape immanence ever nearer to eternal truth. 

                Through the other’s story, Ryan felt the same desire and heart-beckoning; the reticence to speak, the caution to engage, and always the desire to see, witness, and learn of his beloved; imagining stories before they ever lived; and the way world and spirit changed when he perceived himself seen by her. 

                In the darkness of pre-dawn mornings, he read the story.  His heart and spirit rose and fell with story’s swells that left him with tears, smiles, and radiant heart as dawn broke gold in the eastern sky. 

                There was challenge, perceived loss and impossibility, but he persisted in his love.  He had felt God’s touch, the direction of Destiny, and he persisted in the absurd; never ceasing, always believing the dream that would not live as he believed but would become more beautiful and true than even imagined fictions.  By his faith, choosing Love—God’s will and Destiny, even when all seemed lost—he found her once again.

                What next?

How would he reach her?  How does one give to another what soul desires so deeply to share?  How does one give to a stranger with whom one’s rarely spoken but are affected and drawn to in way unlike any before? 

                “Carve as we will the mysterious block of which our life is made, the black vein of destiny…reappears.”

                Destiny spoke.  “A Heart Beneath a Stone.”

                The words in chapter were all he longed to share and knew not how to speak; the spirit he wished to give and share to his beloved.  They were perfect, true, and eternal.  For it was God speaking—beckoning for the becoming and union of one Destiny—in written heart of lover to beloved. 

                The lover gave without show, in sign and place easily missed but that he prayed she would find and see: a heart beneath a stone.

                After reading, he rested alone in chair.  Room and soul filled and changed with the transfiguring light of new dawn and fire sun.  

                God spoke.  Destiny signed.  Ryan perceived, believed, and answered. 

                Ryan surrendered to the Dream.  He would write, give, and offer as Destiny told: in heart beneath a stone.

                Ryan wrote.  Days became months, months years, and when hope seemed lost and divergent destinies determined, he wrote still to his beloved in the hope that she might find, learn, and seek his heart. 

                To love is a choice. Ryan chose, answering God’s call and guided as Destiny foretold.

                “On the day when a woman as she passes before you emits light as she walks, you are lost, you love.  But one thing remains for you to do: to think of her so intently that she is constrained to think of you.”

                So it was. 

                Again and again, story wrote, and writes still: hopes, dreams, desires…Lovea heart beneath a stone.