So you think the eel is slippery?

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The eel is widely hailed as the undisputed champion of the slippery beings. It is said to have a knack for negotiating paths through even the most unrelenting of grasps. I guess an attempt at holding the eel firmly could be compared to trying to hold and restrain water in a clenched fist. It’s absolute craziness. The Pedis would refer to it as “go rakedisha leswiswi ka sefepi” which directly translates into chasing darkness with a sjambok. Very futile!

I wonder if the pursuit of love is quite as futile, if futile at all. This concept confused even the man considered the greatest of thinkers ever – Solomon. You see, I find it hard to listen and learn about marriage from someone who has never been in one. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. So, empirically speaking he had relatively solid ground on which he stood. He could speak authoritatively. And here is what he had to say: “There are three things that amaze me – no, four things I do not understand,” he then proceeds to mentioning the first three before concluding with “how a man loves a woman.”  [Proverbs 30:18-19]

But then again, should we even try to wrap our heads around the concept of love? Or should we just dive into the deep end and see how we float? It’s that dangerous, I suppose. It certainly is an act of faith. How one gets burnt and yet still is able to dare love one more time or even a few times more simply boggles my very limited mind. Then there are those who get hurt and vow never to love again…understandably so I suppose. But what’s the point of holding prisoner a heart that keeps threatening to leap out of your rip cage and take your very life?

Love is just too slippery a concept. But is she anywhere nearly as elusive as our dear friend Miss Eel? Should we even bother chasing after her? She has become a huge industry. Songs are written and very occasionally re-written about her for she enchants many. Shakespeare earned a chunk of his fame from being her praise singer. He wrote in sonnet 116: “Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds.” Men have an exclusive date with greatness in her bed and are often stripped of it in the same room. She clearly is a very potent force. You could never tell if she’s pulling or pushing coming or going!

Such is the nature of love, or is it?


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