Been obsessed all week rereading the story of Wallis Simpson and King Edward, the king who abdicated his throne for “the woman I love.” It would have been the biggest story of the 1930s except for something called the Great Depression and that other event called the beginning of World War II. The King’s Speech got me started, watching Bertie step into a role he didn’t wish for because of his brother’s abdication. And then I found an old volume of letters between Wallis and Edward and a biography. Their affair became a grand romance, but even with all the money, it couldn’t sustain itself, though his devotion to her never wavered. I was reminded again of how cunning one must be to survive in high circles of power, of how when the establishment spurns, it’s a tsunami, crushing everything in its path. I’m reminded of the narrowness of what is called morality, how culture shapes it. She was a divorced woman, a label which offended many. She was cunning, but not cunning enough to do the homework she needed to have done to have helped salvage him. I’m reminded of Marie Antoinette, only grasping her power when it was too late, because she was too busy playing. Play isn’t a luxury those in circles of power can indulge for too long. And love. What is that creature exactly? It can’t be simply lust to endure. Truth, duty, honor, gratitude, a certain purity of heart must underpin its fragile tendrils, as well as a sense of community and purpose. At least that’s what I theorize as I wind my way into my crone years and attempt to understand as fully as I can the unicorn we call love.
What do you know that I don’t about love? Tell me.