Love and Fear

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Sometimes when my son hugs me, I feel completely humbled and undeserving of the love he shares with me. My love for him pours out in an unstoppable and unending torrent; it is easy to love him because it is involuntary. My love for him is so consuming that I don’t have the spare neurons to expect anything back. So, when it comes back in the shape of his smile, its like getting the wind knocked out of you — it is bewildering, terrifying. So, when Christians talk about living in fear of the Lord, I imagine it’s a fear engendered by being overwhelmed by a love you don’t understand.

Love can make you humble when you receive it, but it can also make you humble when you give it. Sometimes you give, and sometimes it gets pulled from you. You cannot control it, you are overawed by it, you fear looking at your face, fear your lips, fear your hands because you’re not sure what they’ll do. Fear that the love will cause itself harm, or harm to those it is intended for, or that it might not be received at all.

But this terror nothing compared to when your love is received and then given back to you. Love is honoring someone more than yourself, it living for someone or something else, something beyond you. It’s not really surprising then, that, when the person you love also loves you, that the acknowledgement and reception of that affection is confounding. How could I, who am convinced that this person is more important to me than my own being, comprehend that they might feel a similar way about me. How could I be worthy?

That must be like standing inside a bell as it is rung. For what could sustain love better than receiving it back, amplified, from the one you give it to?


Thursday, 4 July 2013

A thought I had — one grown to support my own current whatever — regarding incompleteness:

Persons are by their nature incomplete, and seeking completeness. In themselves, in their institutions. But at the moment one stops seeking, the moment one believes these goals of completeness are met, they are lost. Liberty, freedom, justice, love and happiness are never fully attained and cannot be possessed, like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle or Schrodinger’s cat, to know a thing is to change it.

So, the closest we can come to any of our desires is through pursuit. The bond between hunter and hunted. If you catch happiness, you kill it. It becomes a dead thing. If you think you’ve attained the apex of liberty and freedom, you’ve let them both go. But if you know that liberty, freedom, justice, love and happiness can be yours in the context of pursuit — and know that the value we ascribe to these ideas is not inherent to them but exists only in the dynamic of seeking — they can all be yours.

This seems very much in tune with the point Camus makes in The Myth of Sisyphus.

UPDATE 7 July 2013

There’s a danger in the pursuit too, a good hunter knows when to call off the chase. Sometimes you can pursue one thing that turns out to be something else entirely. Sometimes the pursuit itself changes a thing. Knowing when to call off the chase is just as important as knowing that the pursuit is what matters.


Monday, 1 July 2013

In the beginning,
God was monobloc - but 
         love is motion and
God grew hermetic upon
itself, swelling
smaller until
         wrecked - as red
and purpled valves
syncopate - an

         And now 
love is any hole-shape, every
writhing cavity behind
ribs, a empty vector for your 
lovers, your
         As you curled into the 
unexpected vacancies
in a father, 
a mother, your
         Each clasp in arms
as if it might be the last. Each
hollowed part a fresh wound
of gentle fingers.
         you leaped upon me
like a panther and now your shadow
hides in my throat, waiting for
you to find it.
        the whole agony a pulling
together, a drawing apart, an automatic
        the will to listen
to the reverberation of 
that primal heart
                 broken - an echo
that tastes like our blood.

        Lay your hands upon
me and I will
        be at peace. Sleep
in my veins and let me rest
in yours.
        we could pretend we
are more than small dolls in a
matryoshka. Each 
nested bit a piece of
trying to
put itself