As bodies of water we leak and seethe, our borders always vulnerable to rupture and renegotiation.
The way to say "my lover" in Mende is nya jali gulamo —literally "the person who makes me laugh."
It is only in the body of a person whom we have loved deeply for a long time that we don’t perceive the passing of time, and that growing old with that person is a way of never growing old. Seeing someone from day to day has a slow, compassionate rhythm. The people who live at our side always exist in the most immediate time: yesterday, today, tomorrow; and we can’t see this shrunken distances; we don’t see the effects of the passing years. [...] The changes have occurred so slowly and are so intimately tied to my own that neither she nor I has been able to notice them. I think the great miracle of sharing your life is not perceiving the brutal destruction, the annihilation of the body that you love.
| Josefina Vicens, The Empty Book
Twenty-One Love Poems [Poem II]
I wake up in your bed. I know I have been dreaming.
Much earlier, the alarm broke us from each other,
you’ve been at your desk for hours. I know what I dreamed:
our friend the poet comes into my room
where I’ve been writing for days,
drafts, carbons, poems are scattered everywhere,
and I want to show her one poem
which is the poem of my life. But I hesitate,
and wake. You’ve kissed my hair
to wake me. I dreamed you were a poem,
I say, a poem I wanted to show someone . . .
and I laugh and fall dreaming again
of the desire to show you to everyone I love,
to move openly together
in the pull of gravity, which is not simple,
which carries the feathered grass a long way down the upbreathing air.
To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love. To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand, we need to listen.
When you love someone, you should have the capacity to bring relief and help him to suffer less. This is an art. If you don’t understand the roots of his suffering, you can’t help, just as a doctor can’t help heal your illness if she doesn’t know the cause. You need to understand the cause of your loved one’s suffering in order to help bring relief.
The more you understand, the more you love; the more you love, the more you understand. They are two sides of one reality. The mind of love and the mind of understanding are the same.
We have to make a habit of being tourists in our relationships.
Go out or hang out in the living room with your significant other, friend or mom and just pretend you met this person for the first time.
Try and notice their facial muscles, hand gestures, tone of voice, way they laugh, what lights up their eyes and try to experience this for the first time. listen to them speak.
Try to get to know this person beyond what you already know. just be present. tend and care to this person and moment.
Don't let routine blind you.
Don’t let routine get in the way of beauty.
Don’t mistake living with having a life.
“An honorable human relationship – that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word "love" — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.
It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.
It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.
It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.” From On Lies, Secrets and Silence by Adrienne Rich (Selected Prose 1966 - 1978)