The phrase “…and surrender my body to the flames” is Biblical, and I can’t say why it’s always stuck with me, but it has.  If you’ve been to a wedding, you’ve probably heard the famous passage from 1 Corinthians 13 that goes like this:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

That’s very pretty and poetic and you don’t have to really believe anything in particular to get behind the sentiment, hence its popularity at weddings of all stripes.  But the phrase that appears immediately before that one in the Bible is:

“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

That’s the image that always stuck with me, more than the rest.  For me, that speaks to the idea that a “sacrifice” isn’t really a sacrifice if nothing is at stake.  That’s the thing about love that people leave out on wedding days — to love someone else requires sacrifice.  It isn’t all roses and good feelings and sex.  That kid in Love Actually had it about right when he said what could be “worse than the total agony of being in love?”

But we do make the sacrifices because, paradoxically, by giving ourselves up we gain something unfathomable.  I felt that sentiment captured a lot of what was going on through the ten songs on this album.  Lovestruck, for instance, takes three snapshots of people in love, and in all three of them, the people are hurting despite having love.  But I think despite the pain, their lives are the more beautiful for having that love in them.

On the other hand, the lovers in In the Dark Together don’t necessarily know where they’re going, but they know they’re going there together.  And at times, that’s really enough.

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