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?

Pursuit

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.

Reassembly

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
explosion. 

         And now 
love is any hole-shape, every
writhing cavity behind
ribs, a empty vector for your 
lovers, your
children.
         As you curled into the 
unexpected vacancies
in a father, 
a mother, your
lovers.
         Each clasp in arms
as if it might be the last. Each
hollowed part a fresh wound
of gentle fingers.
                            Or
         you leaped upon me
like a panther and now your shadow
hides in my throat, waiting for
you to find it.
                            Or
        the whole agony a pulling
together, a drawing apart, an automatic
resemblance.
                            Or
        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.
        Together,
        maybe,
        we could pretend we
are more than small dolls in a
matryoshka. Each 
nested bit a piece of
God
trying to
put itself
back
together.

Freak On

Wednesday, 6 March 2002

to­day has been in­ter­est­ing. does the fact that i de­sire a beau­ti­ful wom­an make me shal­low? if so, then i guess i am shal­low. how­ev­er, i be­lieve that since our first in­stinct is phys­i­cal, it should be ac­cept­ed, pro­vid­ed that the at­trac­tion is not on­ly lim­it­ed to that. se­ri­ous­ly, if you knew a per­son of the op­po­site sex who had one eye, sev­ere burns, a club foot, a hare­lip, greasy hair, and the most won­der­ful per­son­al­i­ty in the en­tire uni­verse, would you be at­tract­ed. sure you might hang out with them but would you want to get your freak on with them? if so you are a bet­ter per­son than i am.

how do i rec­on­cile my­self to the fact that some­one can ap­pear won­der­ful and de­grad­ed at the same time. by look­ing at my­self. i know i have pos­i­tive qual­i­ties, and i know my neg­a­tives bet­ter than any­one. why should i judge when i am the same. i need un­der­stand­ing and di­a­logue to at­tain en­light­en­ment. i must not be bound by stag­nant thought, par­tic­i­pant-ob­ser­va­tion will en­able me to un­der­stand points of view that i have un­der­stood through my cul­tur­al ed­u­ca­tion to be bad. i must make my­self a bet­ter per­son. i owe it to you.