Saturday, March 24, 2012

a lady in the street

Whether [my grandmother] succeeded in making a lady out of me is for you to decide, but I will say one thing in my own favor before we begin.

No matter which sex I went to bed with, I never smoked on the street.
-Florence King
 Reading Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady

Sunday, March 18, 2012

love, continued

a bit more on love as one's solitary possession (from a different source and hopefully heading-off any solipsistic interpretation of the quote from the last blog):
"Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of character that determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one "object" of love. If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow men, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism. Yet, most people believe that love is constituted by the object, not by the faculty. In fact, they even believe that it is proof of the intensity of their love when they do not love anybody except the "loved" person. This is the same fallacy, which we have already mentioned above. Because one does not see that love is an activity, a power of the soul, one believes that all that is necessary to find is the right object - and that everything goes by itself afterward. This attitude can be compared to that of a man who wants to paint but who, instead of learning the art, claims that he has just to wait for the right object, and that he will paint beautifully when he finds it. If I can say to somebody else, "I love you," I must be able to say, "I love in you everybody, I love through you the world, I love in you also myself." -Erich Fromm

Sunday, March 4, 2012

crush, unrequited

“First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons — but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself." - Carson McCullers
"sound like anyone you know?" I asked myself with the internal dialogue version of an arched eyebrow and knowing smile.

I have an unfortunate history of falling for the self-contained, somewhat-detached. loving's not the problem for me--I just can't get anyone to take it (it doesn't help when you're looking within a subculture within a subculture within a subculture). as a friend told me, "you need to stop going after introverts with the hopes of converting them [to extroverts]." 


love considered

my first piece of advice about love is to find someone who believes the same things about it as you do. 

for myself, I esteem a love of commitment, of choice, of the doing-ness/performance of loving things--beyond infatuation and romantic sentiment. (if there be romance, then all the better). I want a family, domesticity, mutual give-and-take love--and all of the constructive happiness that inheres therein. it's my hope to find another who believes the same. 

it's difficult when you go for someone and you're rejected or, worse, when you're broken-up with. especially for me (and other 'lovers' I assume) who are trying--who have, it's hoped, given 90% to 110% and who feel flexible and mutable, willing to cater to the needs and demands of another and his or her personality. when the rejection comes, it's not a matter of "what I did" but a matter of "who I am." so the question is not "what can I do better?" but "am I not the type of person I should be?" this has been poignant: the realization that someone doesn't like me. so I wonder,  "where have I gone wrong? what defect of personality or character sunk my chances? am I loveable?" I'm not quite so self-dramatizing to answer the last question in the negative...but it takes time before you stop wondering why that particular crush didn't bother finding out or why that partner said, "ehh, I can do better."

I move on, I learn, and I try to get the cliche mistakes out of the way with my mind set both on choosing better and "becoming" the person I need to be.