09 November 2011

Arrange An Oasis

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but there comes a point of diminishing return, of which the lady of the song, that genius of romance, is acutely aware. Listen now, as she addresses her lover with a special request:


Tell me, O you whom my soul loves,
Where do you shepherd your sheep?
Where do you lay them in the midday heat?
Lest I wander around by the flocks 
                  of your fellows.
              (Song of Songs 1:7)

So his lady is coming: of that there is no question. But will she find welcome in her desire to diminish their time spent apart? How will her lover answer this request?


If you do not know, O most beautiful of women,
Set yourself on the path of my sheep,
and pasture your lambs by the tents of the shepherds.
(Song of Songs 1:8)

Glance between the words of the lady and her lover and take note of the complementarity between question and answer. Where she says, "tell me," he playfully replies, "if you do not know." Where she names him, "you whom my soul loves," he names her, "most beautiful of women." Where she would avoid wandering around the flocks of his fellows, he would set her on the path of his sheep, with the message being that she belongs to him and no one else.

All of these things are noteworthy, but let us focus on two in particular: First, he reminds his lady of where she stands in the hierarchy of his romantic attention: the very zenith. Despite the urban beauty of the maidens of Jerusalem, it is her whom he regards as the most beautiful of women. Second, he answers her romantic initiative like a man. He does this by responding to her request in such a way as to shift that initiative on to himself. Rather than sitting passively while she searches him out (which she will do!), he tells her where to await him, so that he may come and find her. Once again, the lover’s treatment of his lady validates his fragrant reputation.

Gentlemen, what effort will you make toward providing your love with an oasis in this work week? Something as simple as a phone call can tell her that she remains the object of your romantic attention. But why stop there? Why not strive for something extravagant and exert yourself in feats of romantic athleticism on the level of the lover?

Respond to your lady’s advances, and exceed her requests. Arrange a lunch date. Bring her a flower. Exercise your romantic faculties and feed the flame of your love. Follow the lead of the lover of the Song and let your lady know that there is no setting, no time, where she does not have your heart.


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