Many years ago I actually studied Latin at school. Quite honestly I hated it. I barely remember "amo, amas, amat..." (I love, you love, he loves..). I always felt it was a contradiction in terms - to begin with love while learning a dead language. For a time I thought it was Tiddles'(Latin master) sense of humor. I was quite deflated when I realized it was standard practice.
One thing that did stay with me was the tenses. I can't remember if you decline or conjugate verbs. Be that as it may, I had to learn the tenses. Apart from the present, the past and the future, you have the active and the passive voice.
But my favorite, without really knowing how to apply it, is:
The Future Perfect
What a marvelous concept. A perfect future.
For the immediate future, this coming week includes:
- Our 20th wedding anniversary, and Amore's birthday on the same day. I have always insisted I am her present so she shouldn't expect much more. Somehow she doesn't agree. I wonder why. So instead we will have a private party.
Longer term that is our ideal. A Perfect Future.
If our past is anything to go by, and it is, we are living this perfect future. A brief view must include the fact we met one Thursday evening, decided to get married a week later and married within the month. I was living in England at the time so for the span of two weeks we exchanged letters daily, until she caught up with me in London.
For some time after our marriage the postman still brought our love letters. And this is a habit we have kept, more or less. Come to think of it I haven't written to her for a while. (Something else for my to do list).
I still remember my first letter to her, written on the plane from Quito to London. I explained that I was absolutely sure of what I was doing, but if she had second thoughts, she had every right to do so. About ten days later in London I received a letter from her where she stated the same thing.
Back to the first letter I wrote her.
I went on to say that I would do my utmost so that our love would never become ordinary, a habit. I could see us walking had in hand, with occasional eye exchanges that were full of meaning, as we talked without saying a word. This would take place sometime, when I had less hair, was rounder and perhaps using a walking stick. She would also be older, with gray hair and most importantly be by my side.
I would pass my fingers over her face, hesitating slightly over the wrinkles round her eyes as I admired and loved them. These were the well earned scars of a full life. Each one reflecting a life lived and loved to the full.
This Perfect Future is also born out of the Future Past. And the Perfect Present is the one where it all comes to be.