In love with love: Encounter with Pauline Gatto

It’s too easy for me to forget that love is a force and not so much a feeling; a way of knowing, and not so much about the object of that knowing; and not really a glitch in the matrix as much as the mechanism that destroys it and offers us a fuller life.

That’s why my conversation with Pauline Gatto was so memorable. Pauline gets it. In her heart and soul. She oozes love. There were moments in the conversation where she became overwhelmed by the emotion of it. Memories of people she loves extravagantly, but has left behind … for now.

I knew the moment I met Pauline that she had a story to tell. But it’s a bit too creepy to ask the woman serving you coffee to sit down for a chat. Fortunately, I have an excuse. I’m a writer.

I interviewed Pauline for a series I’m writing on neighbourhood people who live or work in and around Crave cafe, in Morningside, Auckland. You can read the series here. Pauline’s story went live today.

Like I said, I knew Pauline would have a story. I didn’t expect it to be the type of story that shakes your paradigm or draws back the veil on life’s mysteries. But that’s the beauty of dialogue. It takes you places you never anticipated.

Pauline talked about France (her home), her travels (to Switzerland, Canada, and NZ), and her loves: family, friends, partners. In fact, love seasoned the entire conversation.

‘I’m really lucky, my childhood was perfect,’ she told me. ‘A lot of love and cuddles from my mother, a bit too much maybe. Now I’m addicted to hugs and stuff like that.

‘My parents raised me the right way I think—like, don’t be afraid of anybody, raised in love and caring about each other.

‘I don’t like the word practising [as in religion] because for me it means everything and nothing. I believe and I love others, I care about others and I believe that someone is looking after me and that’s nice.

‘I’m in love with love.

‘I’m not disappointed by love. I didn’t lose faith or anything, I just think I wasn’t ready for the big, big love. And yeah, instead of loving one person deeply I love everybody as much as I can.

‘I was raised with so much love. I feel so lucky and everyday I’m like, thank you.

‘When you are able to love and forget about the body and the envelope, I think you know what love is deeply—because you can just not think about what you are saying, just what you are feeling and that’s the most beautiful part of love for me.

‘I think for me love is everything. Love is life and life is love.’

Thanks for the reminder, Pauline. Check out her story here.


Photo: Amarbir Singh

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