Love and Fear

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?


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.


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

Freak On

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.