The 17th-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal, not one to brood on emotional fuzziness, once observed that "the heart has reasons that reason cannot know."
Of course, it might have taken a scientist to philosophize such an understatement into history. The rest of us spend a lifetime unable to make any sense of our deepest passions.
As such, It was some years ago, on the evening of the summer solstice, that I walked one of my huskies, Sophie, through the Old First Church cemetery, in Bennington.
Pinks and purples framed the horizon, and night's navy blue didn't assume its perch until much later. Perfect for romance.
Yet while not seeking love, it found me.
I couldn't pause for my evening salute to Robert Frost's grave, as a young couple sat nearby, holding hands and whispering sweet nothings. Such pairs, always seen at dusk, seemed to gather at the poet's grave like bees to honey.
Historically, it's not quite clear when lovers began paying homage to the final resting places of literati, but the practice has some standing.
For instance, during my college years a girlfriend would take me to the grave of E.E. Cummings. The visits were intense and full of poetry recitals and yet more ether-like whispers - all innocent. These treks highlighted my occasional visits to Boston, as if our presence there somehow could invoke the poet's spirit.
In this futility we sought wisdom past Pascal's failure to solve an impossible equation. In the end, the flirtation came to nothing.
Recalling this, I can't help thinking that Pascal had to be aware of the laws of physics, which elaborate on nature by stating the obvious: What goes up must come down.
So a few days after the solstice, those forces were in action when I ran into the couple from Frost's grave yet again. Returning home in mid-afternoon, I stumbled upon the youngsters, literally, almost at my doorstep.
They sat on the curb across the street, and the scene wasn't pretty.
The girl had tears streaming down her cheeks and a sailor's vocabulary firing from her tongue. In twilight, that same mystic voice had sung paeans to her Adonis.
The boy was helpless, as boys will be. He stared at the asphalt, and may as well have been mummified for all the reaction to his girlfriend's fury.
In a very public place, this was quite a private moment.
I scurried up the driveway and fumbled for my keys so I could get inside and far away. The girl's frustration continued as cars whizzed by - drowning out her echoes and sparing me details of the break up. She was pleading for a reason, but he couldn't give her one.
An hour later, I got up enough backbone to take a bag of trash to the garage. Mercifully, other than normal afternoon sounds, there was silence.
It was done. They were gone.
Fittingly, the couple left behind a grave marker of their own. The boy's Red Sox cap lay flattened in the street. Apparently crushed by traffic, it resembled so many of his lover's hopes and dreams.
Later on, I took Sophie out for her walk. As we entered the churchyard, I recalled that girl's dreamy smile, when she sat by Frost's grave on the year's longest day, her head resting on the boy's shoulder, her eyes closed in rapture.
Then I pictured her flinging his cap in front of a passing truck: one final, staccato blow that brought no order, no answers, put perhaps some passing, albeit needed relief.
On that evening, the gravesite was absent of lovers. Instead of our ritual pass, I avoided it and hurried along. From my own youth I sought a reason to give the girl that couldn't be found, but one that maybe Pascal finally could decipher.
Telly Halkias is an award-winning freelance journalist. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @TellyHalkias.