“There is nothing more vulnerable than caring for someone; it means not only giving your energy to that which is not you but also caring for that which is beyond or outside your control. Caring is anxious—to be full of care, to be careful, is to take care of things by becoming anxious about their future, where the future is embodied in the fragility of an object whose persistence matters. Becoming caring is not about becoming good or nice: people who have “being caring” as their ego ideal often act in quite uncaring ways in order to protect their good image of themselves. To care is not about letting an object go but holding on to an object by letting oneself go, giving oneself over to something that is not one’s own.”
— Sara Ahmed, The Promise of Happiness
In astronomy, for every two objects in space in orbit, there exists a period of time in which both objects are at their closest they will ever be in orbit. This is known as their "periapsis". In any relationship you have with someone, there exists a periapsis. For example, the periapsis with you and a stranger in an airport is bright and brief, whereas in a deep friendship, there is a period where circumstances will bring you the closest, and while the relationship is still strong, it will not be as close at it was then.
Sometimes, some orbits are so particularly strong that they can pull and change the direction of the orbit of the other planetary object. But regardless, every orbit, relationship. all have their periapsides (pl.).
“So what can we really do for each other except—just love each other and be each other’s witness? And haven’t we got the right to hope—for more? So that we can really stretch into whoever we really are? Don’t you think so?”
— James Baldwin, from Another Country (Dial Press, 1962)
To open ourselves to the joy of a loving union means accepting the possibility (inevitability) of loss. To be able to love, we need to accept the melancholy of life, the little losses of every day and the great loss called death. Paradoxically, once we except that change, loss, discomfort, and grief are inevitable, life is not so frightening and we are freer to create intimate relationships.￼
Ecologically considered, it is not primarily our verbal statements that are "true" or "false", but rather the kind of relations that we sustain with the rest of nature. A human community that lives in a mutually beneficial relation with the surrounding earth is a community that lives in truth. The ways of speaking common to that community - the claims and beliefs that enable such reciprocity to perpetuate itself - are, in this important sense, true.
For such an oral awareness, to explain is not to present a set of finished reasons, but to tell a story.
Exercise : Look deeply into the unseen depths, the reciprocal relationships, the multiplicitous Others, the shapes, the forgotten sounds of spirits and ancestors, and the stories yet to be spoken, that are ever metamorphosing and present in the air.
Yet our disregard for the very air that we breathe is in some sense the most profound expression of this oblivion. For it is the air that most directly envelopes us; the air, in other words, is that element that we are most intimately in.
“You’re not a monster,” I said. But I lied. What I really wanted to say was that a monster is not such a terrible thing to be. From the Latin root monstrum, a divine messenger of catastrophe, then adapted by the Old French to mean an animal of myriad origins: centaur, griffin, satyr. To be a monster is to be a hybrid signal, a lighthouse: both shelter and warning at once.
∆ Ocean Vuong, from On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Describing true love, Eric Butterworth writes: “True love is a peculiar kind of insight through which we see the wholeness which the person is – at the same time totally accepting the level on which he now expresses himself – without any delusion that the potential is a present reality.
“There are so many crushes in a lifetime, so many friendships that mix desiring-to-have with wanting-to-be. It’s the combination of wants that makes these longings confusing, dangerous, and queer. There is a desire to know that is already knowing, a curiosity for what you deep down recognize, a lust for what you are or could be. Writer Richard Lawson describes it as “the muddied confusion over whether you want to be someone’s companion or if you want to step inside their skin, to inhabit the world as they do.”
Excerpt From: Jenn Shapland. “My Autobiography of Carson McCullers.” Apple Books.