Love blurs your vision; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever. It’s like the tide going out, revealing whatever’s been thrown away and sunk: broken bottles, old gloves, rusting pop cans, nibbled fishbodies, bones. This is the kind of thing you see if you sit in the darkness with open eyes, not knowing the future. The ruin you’ve made.”
—Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye
But if you really want my side of the story, here it is: Who isn’t crazy sometimes? Who hasn’t driven around a block hoping a certain person will come out; who hasn’t haunted a certain coffee shop, or stared obsessively at an old picture; who hasn’t toiled over every word in a letter, taken four hours to write a two-sentence email, watched the phone praying that it will ring; who doesn’t lay awake at night sick with the image of her sleeping with someone else?” —Jess Walter, We Live in Water
I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.
—― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones (via mrlogos)
A friend told me this story that she had a friend who was at the airport, and there was a cute guy waiting on a delayed flight near her. He had headphones on and was watching Game Of Thrones. In the past, would he have been bored and struck up a conversation? Maybe? But we’ll never know, because he had his goddamn headphones on and didn’t even see her. We just isolate ourselves with all this media, and we might be cutting ourselves off to amazing experiences. Sadly, you’re never gonna hear this story: “And then I pulled off his headphones and closed his laptop and said, ‘Hey, I’m Marie.’” Actually, that’d be amazing. Some girl please do that to me. I would love that. Actually, I might get really startled and scared that you are going to murder me, so maybe no? I don’t know.
—Aziz Ansari, in The AV Club.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
I’ve always believed that if you’re truly in love with someone, you shouldn’t be able to answer the question “What do you love about him?” with any kind of real satisfaction. The things you’re able to articulate should leave you at least a little hollow. Contestants on “The Bachelor” will usually have to answer this question for his family, and there will be the usual adjectives like “kind” and “generous” and “funny.” It’s not that I think anyone is intentionally lying, but that they’re describing traits that belong to the set of circumstances more than the person. “The Bachelor” is kind because he has no reason not to be; if he becomes disillusioned with you, he can just send you home. He’s generous because he has a production team purchasing intense, expensive experiences for your dates. He’s funny because you’ve both been flown to a charming village in Switzerland and a funny little cow wandered up behind your picnic. If you want to insist that the show is about falling in love, then it’s more accurate to say it’s about falling in love with being on vacation.
—Andrea Seigel, “The Life Lessons Hidden In Reality TV”
(Source: The New York Times)