Your return is no longer in my power.
Your return is no longer in my power.
For a mourner lack is turned into abundance. Less is always (the) more.
-Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse
William Hurt and his disappointed shoulders, even when he was beautiful.
-Kiss of The Spider Woman, 1985
3 things for the New Age, all interrelated, romantic/platonic. Lasting.
1. Talk is cheap. Cheaper than ever. Prove it with action not with talk.
2. Many people, including me in Love Dog, Badiou in In Praise of Love, Douglas Rushkoff in Present Shock, and this week Hannah Black in “You are Too Much,” have decried this age as one of intensity, not duration. There is no future, only presentism. Everything and always is just what you may or may not want Now. I used to think (naively) that intensity equaled (led to) duration because I could not even conceive of intense feeling, of feeling intensely, of being able to, without wanting that feeling to last. So no more intensity, for me. Or: no more speed. Not if I can help it. Now I want time. Now time will wait for feeling. And feeling will wait for time. Too much leads to nothing at all.
In LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE: AN ADDENDUM TO LOVE DOG, I write:
“Spontaneity and pre-mediation, as Badiou points out, form a couple. We need both. We always need both. Ways of being both. Two of something, two in one—symmetry. What good are chance encounters, random encounters, close encounters, being in the right time and place, meeting a contender, as Elaine, used to say, if that place is stuck in only one time and one place? What can be called the original, default Home. If, as the poet Mallarmé put it, chance is not curbed, what good is spontaneity without the dexterity for pre-mediation, which makes something durable? Possible. Which makes it switch places, go the distance. If we can only act recklessly, or in the moment, we will always be limited in how far we can go. If the moments do not aggregate and coalesce; make us plan and hope and try and move towards more. The more we maybe did not even see coming but that came for (to) us nevertheless.”
As we kissed and made up after a fight that ultimately led to our breakup a week later, the last guy I dated held me tight in his arms and cooed, “Masha, we’ve only scratched the surface with each other,” as in we’ve (our love) only just begun. He liked to talk about me and forever this way. I was “eternal,” I was “never ending,” I was “out of the blue.” Let’s imagine that blue is the image of eternity, which is what we’ve imagined. But only just beginning was a de facto way of saying we never really started, as scratching the surface has become the end in sight. No end is the end. Surface runs deep, is forever. Deep goes nowhere, and all the way down. Scratching at the surface is the way we now go all the way.
Félix Guatarri said that language is nothing unless you write it down. I say love is nothing unless it knows how to endure.
3. I think and want to tell others: I want to know what you don’t like as a way of figuring out what you love, instead of the other way around. You don’t love more just because you love everything.
While buying a new phone this morning that I don’t understand how to use and is the wrong color (Easter blue? They don’t make the model I can afford in bIack), the poet/bookseller Nathaniel Otting sent me an excerpt from Lisa Robertson’s interview with Etel Adnan in BOMB, the part where Adnan states:
“EA: I don’t know all the philosophers. They’re famous; I’m far from having discovered them. Al-Niffari is very good. Also Al-Hallaj and Ibn Arabi—they are great thinkers. But Al Hallaj I like as a poet, if by poetry you mean something emotional, poignant. Why shouldn’t thinking be poignant? Why shouldn’t thinking be emotional? That is what poetry is! You can’t separate even love from thinking. If by thinking you mean the activity of the Supreme, the activity of your mind, then when you love you think better in other fields also, because your mind is alert. Love is an energy that goes into many things. Love makes your perception clearer and you suddenly discover flowers. In school we’re told that this is sentimental—that is nonsense! We should stand in the origin, which is mindful energy. Why should a computer be smarter than your mind? Our head is a little radar. It is a message receiver and a message sender.
…It’s an energized idea that can be both an inner and outer thing. Sufis use love that way; love for flowers or for the world is part of love in general. When I wrote my little book for Documenta two years ago, they had asked me to write on my latest interest. I told them it was love. After a long life, I realized it’s what matters most. When we are young, we take things for granted, which is good—we keep going in a blind way in life. We don’t realize that our first real loves were the most important things we had. Maybe we were too young to manage them. This happened to me. The first person I loved madly, I couldn’t even look at! I was blinded; I couldn’t manage the situation. When I couldn’t manage, I would stand up and leave, and the others thought I didn’t love them, you see? I messed up because of shyness, but it was really mismanagement. Things have to be managed, even emotions, which are the least manageable. Manageable means to deal with things, and I couldn’t and I regretted it all my life. I miss that person even this hour. You don’t overcome that. You love others, you get busy, you love. It’s not only love of people—I love the world, I really do. In a way, it took the place of other loves.”
I read the interview excerpt at an AT&T store. Then wrote back to Nathaniel on my old phone while waiting for my new phone:
"That just melted me. It’s everything I feel and think and believe and because of that I feel 89 years old, too. So perfectly said. It’s what my parents taught me. I love the idea of never forgetting, always remembering, the one you truly loved, the one you mismanaged, the who mismanaged you. These things—people—should not be forgotten."
Like Adnan, like the 89 year old I have always been, always want to be, will inevitably remain, I don’t care about anything other than love, given that love is everything to care about. Everything is in love, including sex.
-The Owl’s Legacy, Chris Marker 1989
Re-blogging this film clip, which I originally posted nearly two years ago. I watched this incredible scene again last night as I thought about Kathy Acker’s love advice to Robert Gluck, “Bob, you’ve got to beg.” And that is what Beatty’s Jack Reed does in this scene—begs Louise Bryant, who has traveled across the world to find him, who searches tirelessly, who thought he was dead—not to leave him the moment he finally gets her back.
No one begs like this anymore.
“…Time is never linear. You always feel that everything happened just yesterday but also 100 years ago. I don’t want to experience time in a line.”
-Blood Simple, 1984