“Cupid, draw back your bow.”
I thought it rather a quirk of Fate that today’s letter was “E” for the week before St. Valentine’s Day. What’s more perfect than Eros, the Greek god of fertility, who is also the god the Roman’s called “Cupid,” who is associated with February 14th?
Eros is the son of Aphrodite, goddess of love. His name is the Greek word for passionate
love and desire and the root of the word “erotic.” Erotic love is said to be a “madness” and such love is said to come to one through arrows or darts. Love at first sight was said to occur this way, through the arrows or darts from Eros’s bow.
The Greeks did not see “eros” as a positive kind of love. Rather because it was such a strong love, fiery and irrational, they viewed it as dangerous. Other types of love with a more positive aspect were “philia” or friendship, “ludus” or playful love, such as children or young teens show when flirting, “pragma,” which is a practical or logical love in which someone actively searches for a partner with certain characteristics, and “agape,” or self-less love for your fellow man.
Surprisingly, according to researchers at Texas Tech, “men tend to view love more in terms of the romantic, intense eros love, or the game-playing love of ludas. Women often have a more logical outlook in the practical pragma love.”
In the end, however, as Gregory Alper reminds us in “The Forces of Sex, Eros and Love in Relationships,” Eros is not love. “Eros is the sense of adventure, excitement, romance.” And Eros is temporary. It is the moment of being shot by Cupid’s arrow and falling hopelessly in love.
“Cupid, draw back your bow.” Here’s wishing you a visit from the little cherub with the arrows next weekend.