from Robert Rowland Smith's "Driving with Plato":
June 21, 2012
What's so odd today is that this sense of the unique experience of love coincides with the common knowledge that love can indeed befall you more than once in a lifetime. In this sense Anna Karenina heralds the modern age, and "first love" is precisely that: first but not last. As people live longer, become more affluent, and are aware of increased choice, there's a much more developed sense of love being a pleasure to be refreshed periodically, like buying a new house. And yet first love is special, an exercise of the soul that both recalls the munificence and warmth of being a child and introduces the sense of oneself as a grown-up, as someone who might make a journey through life with someone you didn't start life with. You become yourself with another self: you make a pair, and in doing so you see the future in each other's eyes.