Friday, June 24, 2011

Readings: Concerning Love and Miracles

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A couple of weeks ago, while straightening up my desk at work, I came across in one of the drawers a sheet of notebook paper on which I had listed ten or twelve movies that I was interested in borrowing from the audio-visual department of the library. One of these was the film treatment of the book Henry and June by Anaïs Nin. The book consists of excerpts depicting the passionate love affair of American novelist, Henry Miller, and Anaïs Nin, as compiled from her unexpurgated diaries.

I borrowed both the DVD of the film and the book itself at the same time. Having viewed the movie [which I recommend only if: a) you are interested in the subject of Miller and Nin; or b) you are partial to lesbian sex scenes], I am slowly making my way through the book.

I wrote down the first few words of two brief passages that resonated with me. The first is this observation of Anaïs Nin’s concerning men:

“I have seen romanticism outlast the realistic. I have seen men forget the beautiful women they have possessed, forget the prostitutes, and remember the first woman they idolized, the woman they never could have. The woman who aroused them romantically holds them.”

She could be talking about me here, in relation to a woman I knew in the mid-1970s in London and New York and have never forgotten. I still have a bundle of the letters she wrote to me; letters that are too painful for me to read. I have some poems she wrote…

The next little snippet consists of two consecutive sentences written by novelist Henry Miller to Anaïs Nin at the height of their affair. The words express very well what I felt toward the woman mentioned above at the height of ours. In that regard, the first sentence here could have been seen as somehow true only in light of the second:

… “Oh, it is beautiful to love, and to be free at the same time. “


… “I don’t know what to expect of you, but it is something in the way of a miracle.”

That miracles do not exist in time, but sometimes threaten to break through to give us a glimpse of the transcendent, is perhaps why we are able to endure time's tyrannies.
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8 comments:

Fiocle said...

I would say in the light of this that all the love one has ever felt is lurking beneath the surface of the now, and we are fueled because of it. The more love we allow ourselves to feel the greater the capacity for it.

Rodak said...

Yes. I like that interpretation, Fiona.
But don't you think that some of the buried love of the past has the potential to morph into hate?
That is not the case with me, actually. I don't hate anybody I ever loved. Sometimes I wish that I could. But I have seen it often enough in others.

Fiocle said...

Yes, I have seen it too. That is why I have made the effort to put a stopper on that happening to me. Hate just eats a person up inside and it has to be worked out. Love has to be a conscious decision and it has to be protected and nurtured. Even if it means using logic and determination and an increase/upgrade in personal philosophical understanding. Hate can be trumped by a greater love. The two are like oil and water. They don't mix. In my opinion. If someone displays hate towards you, back away. Don't display it back. That's my motto. Love creates, hate destroys.

Rodak said...

Good advice. But some of the left-over, now unrequited love, is painful as hell. And when one falls into a pool of that, it isn't pretty.

Fiocle said...

I agree. It can be debilitating. But you need to find a focus away from it. I found that writing it out helpful. But only up to a point. Facing into it ad nauseum, then needing to get as far away from it as possible.
I wrote this once.

When the heart loves
the fallout knows
no boundaries.

I haven't progressed much further with it unfortunately.

The best I can come up with to date is placing it, lovingly, in a treasure chest, locking it, and keeping the key in a safe place. Do it through meditation and visualisation.

Rodak said...

Yeah. Then you only have the occasional break-outs to fear. And sometimes you're left with a good poem, two, or three, or four...

Fiocle said...

I wish I had answers.

Rodak said...

I think that maybe only saints have the answers to these issues--total detached serenity, or bust.