I recently finished reading one of Tolstoy’s short works called The Cossacks. It spoke of a young aristocrat by the name of Olenin who did not believe in love. He has never fallen in love before—that is, until he saw Maryanka. He didn’t even have to speak to her and he was instantly drawn to her. He never thought he would find himself in love with someone (or anyone for that matter). His days were not complete without seeing her. He questioned whether it were possible to love someone for their looks even if he knew she probably would never understand him. He loved her for her beauty and this shook him.
Some readers may call it crazy, obsessive but I see it otherwise. The idea of loving a stranger without getting to know them is a strange concept indeed but possible. Of course, the story itself was much more complicated and dealt with a lot more than the idea of superficial love. What struck me about Olenin, was his assurance in his feelings towards Maryanka. And it made me wonder whether one can really be drawn to someone with no knowledge of their personality. Can one really love from afar, without any expectations of a possible future together? Is it one’s fortune to experience such a strong attraction or one’s own ill-fortune to be stuck in such a dilemma. The Cossacks really made me question many things. For one, do many people experience this type of love? Is this even love?
From experience I can say that admiring an acquaintance is possible and sometimes the attraction towards someone cannot always be explained. As cliché as this sounds, I suppose your heart occasionally knows best.