I would give all metaphors
in return for one word
drawn out of my breast like a rib
for one word
contained within the boundaries
of my skin
My brother asked the birds to forgive him; that sounds senseless, but it is right; for all is like an ocean, all is flowing and blending; a touch in one place sets up movement at the other end of the earth. It may be senseless to beg forgiveness of the birds, but birds would be happier at your side — a little happier, anyway — and children and all animals, if you were nobler than you are now. It’s all like an ocean, I tell you. Then you would pray to the birds too, consumed by an all-embracing love, in a sort of transport, and pray that they too will forgive you your sin. Treasure this ecstasy, however senseless it may seem to men.
The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
[Book VI “The Russian Monk”, Chapter 3, Conversations and Exhortations of Father Zossima, (f) Of Masters and Servants, and of whether it is possible for them to be Brothers in the Spirit.]
I don’t think love is always a huge, cataclysmal emotional event. I think sometimes it sits in front of you for a very long time until you glance over and say, oh, there you are. I don’t think it’s your saving grace. I think it’s the hand that you hold while you save yourself. I don’t think it’s someone who sweeps you off your feet. I think it’s someone who stays right beside you and lets you walk on your own. I don’t think it’s always a blazing but temporary insanity of racing hearts and hormones. I think that’s the love that changes us. The love that should stay with us is the calm, deep, thorough knowing that you want to be with someone despite logical objections. And what may be even more important than anything is that I think you find your own love at the very edges of where other people’s love pushes you.
Of course, you never really forget anyone, but you certainly release them. You stop allowing their history to have any meaning for you today. You let them change their haircut, let them move, let them fall in love again. And when you see this person you have let go, you realize that there is no reason to be sad. The person you knew exists somewhere, but you are separated by too much time to reach them again.
I have observed that male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel. In my experience…all of the questions coming at [women writers] from interviewers tend to be about how lucky they are to be where they are – about luck and identity and how the idea struck them. The interviews much more seldom engage with the woman as a serious thinker, a philosopher, as a person with preoccupations that are going to sustain them for their lifetime.
Immediately after lunch I will write you
a letter telling you I drew your face
and hung it on my wall. Good morning you,
I say. In my best cursive I will also tell you
that at night I love when I turn over
and you are not moving; a potato.
Sometimes it is so cold I want to freak out.
You blow hot into my ear.
My face is drowning. Your hands are a net.