– That Dante saw Beatrice when she was nine years old, and that was it, the whole universe, I believe totally. It is, makes entire sense to me. That the greek word is “anagnorisis”, the strange word, the shock of the recognition. The comet light, the flash, the sunlight in your body and everything. This is it. It happens. Around the street corner, you enter a shop and see someone, a shadow on the wall… Does it happen twice? We don’t really know. Plato, Dante, Proust, some of the ultimate masters of the meditation on Eros, suggest that it happens only once and our later love experiences are compromised, mimesis, an imitatio, an attempt to recapture it. Other man say, “No, the great love of my life came very late, was totally different from my youth”.
– In that these moments, epiphanies, Joyce’s great words, epiphany, “When the light shines through life”, have left me not with a sense of utter regret because, for instance, with that first young woman there never was a relationship. She saw it quite rightly that I was a ridiculous goose. And a number of times in my life, it’s been only a moment. Each one of them has built, I believe, towards my marriage with a very remarkable woman, we’ve now been together forty-five years. And with the acceptance of a seemingly dark word — allow me a few moments because we’re touching on something very central. One of the sayings that guides my life is by the great poet Rilke. Rilke says: “When there has been a deeply happy love, later on, one becomes the loving guardian of the other’s solitude”. What such depths. Eros does not last forever, passion does not last forever. I believe, again, contrary to that incredible freudian exaggerations, that sexuality, powerful, wonderful, miraculous, is only one of many fundamental forces and for many human beings not the most important. But to become the loving guardian of the other’s solitude, you move into friendship, love moves into supreme friendship. And then maybe that friendship is finally more important than love.
– I cannot imagine my existence without being in love in a certain sense. That is to say, I associate love with the future tense. (…) To be in love is to have a future tense, is to think that things have a meaning tomorrow. That you are moving towards another human identity, a real presence and that what you think, what you do… When you brush you teeth in the morning in love it’s rather different.
– The illness of need which is love, the sense that one is incomplete, that one is as it were limping on one leg of the heart until one is with the other being. The insane things we do, the phone calls in the night, the trips to the airport, attempts to guess where the other person is… Completely irrational. I think life would be beggarly without them. But, I repeat, the great ascetic, the saint, the pure metaphysician, perhaps the great mathematician has no time for this…
– You have.
– I’ve had it and now that I’m really very old perhaps it’s getting worse… I’m now beginning to understand Yeats’ great poems about the rage of love in the old. And when Dylan Thomas writes: “Do not go gentle into that good night / rage, rage against the dying of the light”, he’s talking both of his father’s death and of the terror of the eclipse of love. I think when one no longer have a physical shock at the sight of a beautiful woman passing by, of meeting the eyes of a beloved, then, then the winter will have began.
george steiner, beauty & consolation
Porque há desejo em mim, é tudo cintilância.
Antes, o cotidiano era um pensar alturas
Buscando Aquele Outro decantado
Surdo à minha humana ladradura.
Visgo e suor, pois nunca se faziam.
Hoje, de carne e osso, laborioso, lascivo
Tomas-me o corpo. E que descanso me dás
Depois das lidas. Sonhei penhascos
Quando havia o jardim aqui ao lado.
Pensei subidas onde não havia rastros.
Extasiada, fodo contigo
Ao invés de ganir diante do Nada.
hilda hilst, do desejo