Tuesday, 15 April 2008
The Wall of Love
In Frankfurt there is a wall. It was once within a giant, who, being so full of emotion once fell in love. When that love was not answered, he built about his heart this wall. For you should know that while knights used to slay giants - a broken heart has always been more fatal. Now it is a property of this wall that if anyone should be full of emotion and fall in love that love will be reflected in the wall.
It happened that some years ago, in our scientific age, a young man in Paris - the city of Romance fell in love with a fabulously attractive woman. But being not all that attractive himself - his nose was large and he had a tendency to be both utterly honest but also poetically devastating - he dare not speak this love. Eventually, the woman guessed his love for her, but sadly, her heart was as ugly as her body was beautiful. She mocked the young man for daring to love her and derided him in verse - his own weapon of choice. He was not only ugly, she said, but he had little money or prestige.
When his heart broke with her attack - far away from Paris, the wall sighed and the words 'a l'amour blesse' - to wounded love - seemed to form in the wall in golden letters. Tears dripped from the edges of the letters upon the ground and watered it. Where those tears fell, a rose as red as blood sprang up.
It also happened, in Frankfurt that a young woman fell in love, but her father insisted that she marry a wealthy economist instead of the man she would love. The man she loved did not know of her feelings. The economist did not care if she loved anyone else - he determined to have her anyway. Her heart broke with her sorrow
and along the wall, the words 'Verletzte Liebe' - wounded love - seemed to form in the wall in golden letters. Tears dripped from the edges of the letters upon the ground and watered it. Where those tears fell, a rose as red as blood sprang up. All along the wall small nails had appeared like quills on a fretful porcupine as if in reflection of all the terrible nails of sorrow that broken hearts are full of.
The young woman, full of her grief, fled from Frankfurt to Paris where she soothed her broken heart by making shoes for fine ladies and tending to a charming cat who befriended her. Like the young Parisian gentleman she had forsworn love and lived only with the cat for company.
By the wall, the two roses grew and beside them, two lovers kissed and entwined the rose stems together so that they should be like the lovers themselves - together and full of love. As these two roses entwined and grew together, something strange happened.
In Paris, the young man met the lady's cat and stopped to speak to it. The cat, purred and lapped up eagerly the attention of the gentle man. Every day the cat and he met until the young woman noticed her cat's new friend. The two broken hearted people began to talk, tentatively at first until they got to know each other. They became friends and later they fell in love with each other until their lives became entwined and they were filled with love for each other.
When they held hands, the wall in Frankfurt seemed to sigh. When they kissed, the words on the wall seemed to fade into the stone of the wall. When they knew nobody else but each other and their own frozen hearts melted, the nails in the wall seemed to drop out one by one and clatter on the ground. When the broken hearts were mended the words - Amor vincit omnia - love conquers everything, appeared on the wall in high golden letters.