Are you a die-hard romantic, like me, a hopelessly hopeful romantic? Might you, when you least expect it, fall in love with the love of your life at a Socrates Cafe?
It’s Valentine’s Day; maybe check out this snipped from my Socrates In Love: Philosophy for a Die-Hard Romantic:
Strange Yet Familiar
“You were defying my idea of a gringo – which I’d gotten watching too many Hollywood movies,” she says. “You talked with so much passion, the first time we met, about how you wanted to reach out to those who don’t have a voice in society. But because of all the stereotypes I had about Americans, part of me almost thought you were putting me on.”
“You were ‘exotic’ to me,” I tell her. “I knew next to nothing of Mexico or Mexicans — yet I felt an immediate connection with you. You were so passionate in your own right, sharing with me all the projects you were involved in to help lift the indigenous people of your country out of poverty, and your experiences living in their communities and learning about their culture. Already I was beginning to think, ‘I want to go there, engage in dialogues with them, and work alongside you.’”
“Well, I was already thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if this guy came down there and joined me for a while,’” she says in turn. “They’ve been holding Socratic-type inquiries, though they wouldn’t call it by that name, for centuries. I also thought it would be the perfect way to get to know you better. I was already feeling something I couldn’t believe I was feeling…”
“I posed to you the question, ‘What is love?’,” she then says, “though I had planned to ask an entirely different question. But that’s the question that spontaneously came out after I looked in your eyes. There was this little voice saying, ‘This is the one.’ I kept saying to the voice, ‘You must be out of your mind. Be quiet.’ I was able to silence the voice a little bit. But my heart wouldn’t listen to me when I said, ‘Be still.’”
Time passes. We look into each other’s eyes, comfortable in silence. “It’s a miracle when passionate love evolves, becomes stronger and more passionate, as you become more intimate and familiar companions,” she says.
“I love that there’s still an ‘intimacy of the strange’ between us after all these years,” I say. “Every morning when I wake up, I look at you and think, ‘Who is this amazing person?’ I learn something new about you, and from you, every day.”
Then I say after a while, “You’d just arrived in the U.S. when we met. That was brave of you to venture alone to the dialogue. Even braver when you showed up and I was the only other person on hand! From there on out, I wanted to be your caballero, your knight in shining armor. I wanted to do everything I could to make your stay in the U.S. hospitable — to make the country just familiar enough so you’d feel comfortable exploring more and more.”
She takes my hand, and caresses it, her finger brushing across the kokopelli ring she gave me the day we married. “I bought this for you from an elderly woman in Old Oraibi on the Hopi reservation, the oldest continuous village in North America. She told me that kokopelli means ‘flute player,’ and is the mythical symbol of replenishment and nourishment, love.”
“Not to mention fertility,” I add. I caress her abdomen and feel the life stirring within.
Just then, baby Cali kicks. “She’s excited,” Cecilia says. “She’s saying, ‘Mommy, Daddy, ready or not, here I come!’”