How Love Should Be

Originally posted December 8, 2008

There is a bronze sculpture on a bench right outside the Old Courthouse on the square that tugs at my heart every time I pass by it. I believe it is called “Valentine.” An elderly man and woman are sitting close together, her hand resting on his arm, with their heads gently leaning against each other. There’s an overwhelming sense of quiet and stillness to this piece. Such a sense of comfort between the two figures, looking off into the distance. It’s beautiful and touching and somehow unbelievably sad.

Whenever I see it, I start singing the song “I Will Follow You into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie in my head — yet another song that I can’t listen to without crying. You should look it up if you’ve never gotten a chance to hear it, because the melody is almost as sweet and haunting as the lyrics.

“I Will Follow You Into The Dark”

Love of mine, some day you will die
But I’ll be close behind
I’ll follow you into the dark
No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark

If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
And illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs

If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark

In Catholic school, as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
And I held my tongue as she told me
“Son fear is the heart of love”
So I never went back

If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
And illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs

If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark

You and me have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
It’s nothing to cry about
’cause we’ll hold each other soon
In the blackest of rooms

If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the No’s on their vacancy signs

If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark
Then I’ll follow you into the dark

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