“Don’t think, when you melt in sorrow
like candle tears, of who will see you
or follow your intuition’s light.
Think of yourself: is this all of myself?”—Mahmoud Darwish, from “To a Young Poet,” trans. Fady Joudah, Poetry (March 2010)
“It seems to me that the intellectualization and aestheticizing of principles and values in this country is one of the things that’s gutted our generation. All the things that my parents said to me, like ‘It’s really important not to lie.’ OK, check, got it. I nod at that but I really don’t feel it. Until I get to be about 30 and I realize that if I lie to you, I also can’t trust you. I feel that I’m in pain, I’m nervous, I’m lonely and I can’t figure out why. Then I realize, ‘Oh, perhaps the way to deal with this is really not to lie.’ The idea that something so simple and, really, so aesthetically uninteresting — which for me meant you pass over it for the interesting, complex stuff — can actually be nourishing in a way that arch, meta, ironic, pomo stuff can’t, that seems to me to be important. That seems to me like something our generation needs to feel.”—David Foster Wallace
i observe men in silence, how they leave plates on dining room tables, how they slam doors, how they take up whole couch with legs sprawled and lounging arms, how they do not filter speech, too confident, too loud. voices always violent, everything a war.
The goal is to be unafraid when you love. To turn your shoulder towards the winds and push on. To be relentless in your pursuit of it. To be fearless and unafraid.
We are so bold in anger and confrontation and so scared and meek in love. Quick to tell someone off or to give them a piece of your mind. Slow to place your heart in their hands and say, “Take care of this.” Fear is a trigger. I wish love was a trigger. I wish it was what made me tremble and took my breath and made me dizzy. I want to live in the cliché. I want to exist in the love song. Let me be mountain high and river deep. Not tabletop and puddle afraid.
This has to change.
Something has to be done differently. The goal is to be fearless in pursuit of all things you love. To be loud and unapologetic. No more apologies for who you love and how you choose to love them. Fuck that. Love them until you don’t. If they don’t love you back, then cool. Let them live in fear of you and all your neon-colored love. Find someone who will love you just as neon and flashing lights. Leave these beige and understated folks to each other. Let them have this neutral. This safe. This without risks. This comfortable. Let them have these ankles barely wet with it. Give me a drowning. Give me up to my neck in it. Give me a boat and an oar. Let me love an ocean’s worth. Fuck this playing it safe. This afraid to be hurt. We hurt. and we live through it. Fuck fear. Love anyway. Meditate on that.
“In us just the same: each of us wistfully drawn out like inverted effervesces trickling with confusion, from one pocket to the next, a foggy sea of forgetting in an attempt to bubble up to say to the other bub who fizzes “I’ll take care of you,” all the while trying to not become that bubble echolating the same glub-glub-glub right back, just so she knows he loves her.”—