i do not own this essay though (:
credits to the author :3
Staccato or Legato?
Among the more curious questions that can be asked about love is this: is it staccato or legato? That is, when one feels romantic love, does he feel it in breaks, with interruptions or change? Although the legato position about love is appealing, the staccato argument is probably more realistic.
Poetry and song seduce on into thinking love legato. “Love is not love which alters when alteration finds,” wrote Shakespeare in one of his famous sonnets. Love is “an ever- fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken,” he continued. And Elizabeth Barret Browning wrote of her constancy to his husband Robert in such lines as this: “What I do and what I dream include thee.” Some of the great arias of opera are gloriously legato about love. Tosca, Tristan and Isolde, and Madame Butterfly are only dying for it. True Love and I Love You Truly are two of the best- known popular songs about how love goes on.
In reality, love is probably staccato. First, it is difficult to suppose that one experience anything continuously. Sleep interrupt wakefulness and sleep itself is interrupted by dreams and nightmares. The feeling one has for his lover during wakefulness may be blotted out or intensified by sleep. In either case, the feeling changes.
When one is awake, he cannot fix his eyes or his attention constantly on a single object. He must blink, if nothing else. More likely he will to something else for variety or necessity. His mind may turn to the stock market or he may become fascinated by the operation of a pile driver on his way to work. His focus for much of his day is of his work. As he closes the door to his office, his thoughts may turn to his love, but sitting at his desk, his eyes fix on the print and figures there. He may fall out of love and into his work, or he may catch the faint perfume of his secretary.
Pain and pleasure, either one, can distract a lover from concentrating on his love. Pain calls everything to itself. One can forget one’s love for a period even over a stubbed toe. The pleasure of too much food or drink can be totally absorbing. The pleasure even of one’s lover may pall periodically. Often the greatest distraction is oneself. At times, the preoccupation with self, the development of self, the delight in self admits no other thoughts.
As lovely as legato is, one can neither live nor love continuously. At best, a lover can only echo the words of the poet Ernest Dowson, and say “I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! In my own fashion.”