L-O-V-E. We will say sporadic, rapid, consuming at times, violent, disruptive, destructive and costly. In the end, unpredictable, uncontrollable and unconditional, for true love is truly unconditional. It comes without warning and is also recognized at a point in life when it is just too late. You can not take it, nor demand it. It only seemingly offers itself to the blind. As we lay in the promise of our ill-willed and illustrious mistakes, we fail to see that that world continues to turn. Hopefully you'll see love as the world sees love: a fool, a conjurer, a thief; all at the same time unbearable and beautiful. How many walls will fall when your deepest love comes to call? When all is said and done, I wonder? What will love take from you and, if you're lucky, what will love give to you? As I explain what love is to the best of my knowledge and experience, the reward versus the risk? All the small splendors and complexities that occur when time meets fate leading way to destiny. Shedding light on what few of us have ever had love. Are our lives becoming that raven? Ever so softly tapping, tapping on that chamber door, calling on your empty spaces and eluding your wishes. Where is your Lenore? When life becomes experience and goodwill the real matter of fact is when love becomes their loss, measuring distances beyond comprehension. Endings justified by new beginnings. With that, let me explain love’s reward versus risk.The common necessities of possession, comfort, security, stability, unconditional support and comfortable silence. What happens though when love turns into jealousy, spite, destruction, abuse, chaos and even murder; a justified means that becomes the end? These words that I use are part of a risk that all too often seems to be a necessity of eternal fulfillment, as well as a necessity to life, like the DNA structure of your anatomy. It is see all and know all. Knowing this, we ask why we still gleefully walk towards this same path that has already destroyed us once. "The path of love."Just part of the risk, still we search for the reward. Besides the obvious, there is the occasional exception to the rule. Till death do we part? To not be alone, to have and to hold in sickness and in health. Waking up in the morning to a familiar face bringing sunshine to your opened eyes. To be able to feel something that you never get tired of feeling. In our journeys we misunderstand that to love is to lose. This idea of loss has dreadful circumstances that involve saying goodbye to the significant other, the love of your life, and as selfish as it may seem, we barter with our high-power death first for one. For the pain of walking around blind, deaf and dumb and at the most disconnected to our environment around. Living in misery, coveting her day in and day out, questioning our high-powers. "Just another risk in love."The collisions of time, space, destiny and fate give way to what we know as love. Like a portal door opening to an untamed dimension none of us really know anything about. We've seen it, heard about and read about, but rarely have we possessed it. It is its own complexities and intricacies. To the best of my knowledge, I will tell you it does not know. Not being completely sure. For what attracts and keeps attracting, love. It is the perks and quirks and its splendor inner workings that give complexity and challenge to our lives. The simple jealousy to let you know we care. It is the want of giving to someone who you feel is nothing without you. It is the attributes of such beautiful complexity that turn you from nothing to something. The thrill of the chase and the excitement of the catch are so rewarding. We don't understand why she smacks her lips before she talks or why she hates mayonnaise; why she loves classical show tunes, but really gets down to Dr. Dre; or why her feet are slightly above average. It is her world that if you are lucky you will get to see. We must always remember that it is love's time that we have borrowed. Cause and effect when opportunity meets fate and you're there at the right time. "True love will strike."Are we all just hopeless romantics in the end? If so, I would like to speak as one at this moment. To lose is the only way to truly know what love is, "for to love is to lose." To wake up with nothing, to go to sleep empty, finally understanding loss and missing love of any virtue on any level. You remember the way it was to be loved as a kid from the bosom of your mother's grasp, to be held and rocked and told "Shhh, everything is going to be okay." As we start to breathe the air around us still we clutch our chest with our lethargic hands as if missing a lung and knowing some one or some thing out there possesses exactly what you're missing. We must not partake with the naive and selfish that presumes to and assumes that they fully comprehend what love is. I've counted the days that have consumed my soul with love. They are stifling in numbers that are its own story of passion and destiny. We must keep our eyes open to love for in an instant it vanishes without a trace, just like smoke that was once there; you can no longer see it but it has a distinct lingering odor of self destruction. Leaving to my own wits end with her here knock lightly almost as if without a sound at my chamber door.In conclusion, I want to thank the reader for listening to my hopeless rants and raves of this, indefinitely I feel, hopeless romantic. My goal was to help you, the reader, understand love as much as I understand love; a shattered dream with risk as well as rewards, all of which come at a price. The complexities and splendors of love as people and their lives collide with one another. When destiny and fate decide the time is right and you are there at the right time. You will be given sanctuary to her sacred grounds giving life and energy to love and loves around you. I give hopes and prayers to all high powers that we as people and as a whole find shelter underneath the bridges of love's cool, calm and gentle touch, finally seeing that love is its own perfect storm.John Vaughn is a resident of Sweetwater. Comments about this column may be e-mailed to