"...& when i say 'dying of love'" - qfwfq went on - "i mean something you have no idea of, because you think falling in
love has to signify falling in love with another person, or thing or what have you, in other words i'm here & what i'm
in love with is there, in short a relationship connected to the life of relationships, whereas i'm talking about the
times before i had established any relationships between myself & anything else, there was a cell & the cell
was me, & that was that. now we needn't wonder whether there were other cells around too, it doesn't matter,
there was the cell that was me & it was already quite an achievement, such a thing is more than enough
to fill one's life, & it's this very sense of fullness i want to talk to you about. i don't mean fullness
because of the protoplasm i had, because even if it had increased to a considerable degree it wasn't
anything exceptional, cells of course are full of protoplasm, what else could they be full of; no,
i'm talking about a sense of fullness that was, if you'll allow the expression, quote spiritual
unquote, namely the awareness that this cell was me, this sense of fullness, this fullness of
being aware was something that kept me awake nights, something that made me beside
myself, in other words the situation i mentioned before, i was 'dying of love.'"
Italo Calvino, Cosmicomics
"today americans are overcome not by the sense of endless possibility but by the banality of the social order they
have erected against it. having internalized the social restraints by means of which they formerly sought to
keep possibility within civilized limits, they feel themselves overwhelmed by an annihilating boredom, like
animals whose instincts have withered in captivity. a reversion to savagery threatens them so little that
they long precisely for a more vigorous instinctual existence. people nowadays complain of an inability
to feel. they cultivate more vivid experiences, seek to beat sluggish flesh to life, attempt to revive
jaded appetites. they condemn the superego & exalt the lost life of the senses. twentieth-century
people have erected so many psychological barriers against strong emotion, & have invested
those defenses with so much of the energy derived from forbidden impulse, that they
can no longer remember what it feels like to be inundated by desire. they tend,
rather, to be consumed with rage, which derives from defenses against desire
& gives rise in turn to new defenses against rage itself. outwardly bland,
submissive, & sociable, they seethe with an inner anger for which a dense,
overpopulated, bureaucratic society can devise few legitimate outlets"
Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism:
American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations
"when i think about how literally every feature or facet of modern life works if even inadvertantly to diminish any amount &
expression of some underlying human or natural spirit i just want to kms. its basically all gone. of course its still latent in
some ways, but recognizing it & embracing it appears completely foreign to most people. i dont think this is at all a bad
thing to do, & maybe im a bit misguided by melodrama, but the fact that we basically have to "teach" people to wonder
& be in awe of things fucks me up so much, because im convinced that everyone's meant to appear in the world in one
way or another predisposed to wonder, love, appreciate things, nature, life god etc. it feels like its been beaten out to
such a degree that disposition towards these things can only be understood & manifest in a highly diluted technical,
caricatured form. theres an underlying earnestness & authenticity to them thats lost in so many different ways,
under a thousand layers of pseudo profundity & media instilled archetypes. for example, i think you can in some
sense teach the appreciation of art. but even if this can surpass all these confounding obstacles & caricatures
(e.g. pretentious academic, museums & their history, cutlural media portrayal of pseudo obscurantists etc),
theres a sense in which its lost completely if it ever had to be taught, especially via theory & aesthetics.
theres this false sense of pride that everything can be grasped in this way, as if nothing spiritual in the
real sense could underlie things, that fucking disgusts me. this is even worse w things concerning the
appreciation of life in general. & i refuse to believe that me or anyone else is relatively unique in
this respect, that jsut some a predisposed towards these things, since there are glimpses of them
in everyone even if rarely. but you cant even communicate this to someone for whom it is foreign,
because all the words you use to do so just evaporate into thin air when you speak. theres too
many connotations preventing it from being communicated to them. & the whole point is
that it cant be appropriated by your language anyway, not perfectly at least, & so when
its beaten out so early & often from people theres a sense in which its totally lost
as theyre born into a world hostile to even the smallest amount of it. no i wont
elaborate this, because honestly if you get it you get it/feel it"
dream-realm, on Tumblr
"the impulse to water down feelings & consequently declare oneself "mature" is a
deadening, cheapening, & unethical approach to life. rationality, self-knowledge,
& clarity of mind are in no sense antithetical to intensity. & resisting
the latter is certainly not a good path to any of the former"
"... [l]ove isn't some kind of passive entertainment or fleeting hunger; love involves serious ontological reconfigurations.
or at least there's a thing that happens, when you grow to know a person, when that person is smart, creative, & kind,
when they can surprise you, see the same things you can see, & behave with either such compassion or regularity that
you can relax your shields around them, where they become qualitatively more real to you. almost as real as yourself.
where your mirror neurons jiggle & dance in tune with them, a ghost of them moving alongside you at all times
loving someone remakes yourself. but most importantly, even if that ghost fades to a silent unnoticed echo, the
impression left by the experience reshapes your ethical reality. you are not alone. tangibly. provably. there
are other minds. in a way impossible to ascertain merely kicking balls with the shrieking automatons on the
playground or banging one in a bathroom or being overcome with the novelty of a new automaton
with handsome hydraulics. & this implies an absolute ethical obligation."
William Gillis, Scarce Or Abundant,
Nothing About Love Should Be Casual
"there is no escape. you can't be a vagabond & an artist & still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man.
you want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. you say yes to the sunlight & pure fantasies, so you
have to say yes to the filth & the nausea. everything is within you, gold & mud, happiness & pain, the laughter
of childhood & the apprehension of death. say yes to everything, shirk nothing. don't try to lie to yourself.
you are not a solid citizen. you are not a Greek. you are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. you are
a bird in the storm. let it storm! let it drive you! how much have you lied! a thousand times, even in your
poems & books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. in
the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched. my God, what
a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror man is- particularly the artist- particularly myself!"
"this is the ending where you finally find your way home & the ancient terror inside of you is stomped out for good"
Jonny Bolduc, Ending
"there is something uniquely convincing about the perceptions that occur to you when you are in love. they seem
truer than other perceptions, & more truly your own, won from reality at personal cost. greatest certainty is
felt about the beloved as necessary complement to you. your powers of imagination connive at this vision,
calling up possibilities from beyond the actual. all at once a self never known before, which now strikes
you as the true one, is coming into focus. a gust of godlikeness may pass through you & for an instant
a great many things look knowable, possible & present. then the edge asserts itself. you are not
a god. you are not that enlarged self. indeed, you are not even a whole self, as you now see"
Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet: An Essay; Logic at the Edge
For years I could not accept
the place I was in.
I felt I should be somewhere else.
A city, trees, human voices
lacked the quality of presence.
I would live by the hope of moving on.
Somewhere else there was a city of real presence,
of real trees and voices and friendship and love. - To Raja Rao, by Czeslaw Milosz
You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don't even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of the next
moment. All the immense
images in me - the far-off, deeply felt landscape,
cities, towers, and bridges, and un-
suspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods -
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.
You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I have ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house - and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me. Streets that I chanced upon, -
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and, startled, gave back
my too-sudden image. Who knows? perhaps the same
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening... - Rainer Maria Rilke