#7: Sarah Dessen
“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”
For all our attempts to prepare for love, or seek it, or know it when we see it, sometimes it just sneaks up and bites us when we least suspect it.
That’s the position of Sarah Dessen, anyway, the above quote, taken from The Truth About Forever, a book title which seems to promise more than any book could ever deliver.
Then again, if you’re the kind of person that authors love quotes describe love as pouncing on you “in a single flashing, throbbing moment,” chances are your focus is on the immediacy of passion, and indeed might take a cue from Freddie Mercury and ask “Who Wants to Live Forever?”
Dessen’s quote functions as a counterpoint to all the other cute quips and love quotes we’ve provided thus far.
With the others, love is treated as something around which you can plan or, in Gaiman’s case, possibly gain against, if you value safety of feeling over the adventure of experience (a position which itself seems tragic, but one thing at a time.)
Dessen, by contrast, presents love as instantaneous, which itself raises a few questions.
Should you therefore always be ready for love? Should you forever be on your guard? Or, if it truly is instantaneous, should you simply live life and take love as you find it?
That would certainly tie in with what Kurt Vonnegut wrote in Slaughterhouse-Five that “A pleasant way to spend eternity is to ignore the bad times and concentrate on the good.”
This vision of life is presented by an alien race called the Tralfamadorians, and while their view of life may or may not reflect how Vonnegut himself viewed love and life, their perspective is nevertheless intriguing.
For them, all moments in time are, like Dessen-esque love, vivid and instantaneous. Past, present and future are exist simultaneously for them.
That may not be our lot in life, but from Marilyn Monroe to Marie Antoinette, Andre Gide to Neil Gaiman, these celebrity love quotes past and present can shape our futures—and future loves.