If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again. If I knew this is the last time I see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already. — Gabriel Garcia Marquez
‘Reflective insights may arise like the lotus from the still lake of meditation, while creative insights come at the raw and tender edge of confrontation at the borderlines where we are most sensitive and exposed — and curiously most alone. To meet you, I must risk myself as I am. The naked human is challenged. It would be safer reflecting alone than confronting you. And even the favorite dictum of reflective psychology — a psychology which has consciousness rather than love as its main goal — ‘Know thyself’’ will be insufficient for a creative psychology. Not ‘Know thyself’ through reflection, but ‘Reveal thyself’, which is the same as the commandment to love, since nowhere are we more revealed than in our loving’.
— James Hillman
Age cannot manage to empty either sensual pleasure of its attractiveness or the whole world of its charm. On the contrary, I was more easily disgusted at twenty, and I was less satisfied with life. I embraced less boldly; I breathed less deeply; and I felt myself to be less loved. Perhaps also I longed to be melancholy; I had not yet understood the superior beauty of happiness. — Andre Gide
That little piece by Marquez is full of affection and tenderness. Andre Gide describes his journey toward releasing himself from the strictures of judgement as he grew more human, more capable of acceptance. Hillman notes the difference between the light of awareness and the courage of love.
I was long attracted to a quality in Latin languages that seemed to be a mix of aesthetic beauty and romance. Of course I learned as I grew up that English and German can express poetry, love and beauty just as masterfully. The Romance languages don’t have a corner on that market. It’s just that I associated the sound of spoken languages with what they aroused in me when I heard them.
I wanted out of English. I wanted to make sounds that had sensuality and liveliness inherent in them. I idealized French and Italian. English has a broad vocabulary and an extensive reach, but I thought it was only a language of business and technology. I was looking for a language of art and beauty, poetry and the soul.
It’s common to feel a lack of love in this time in the world, both on a personal and universal level. If we’re paying attention we see how that feeling originates in our own hearts. We ourselves are responsible for the state of affairs in the world. If we would change the world, that’s where we need to turn our attention.
Just like everyone else, I imagined that the love I sought was external to me. It was something that I could grasp and conquer. It appeared to me in symbolic guise. I projected something in me I was not yet conscious of.
This is our task as humans now, to love, to love others, the world, life, the life force, living itself. It is not in being brilliant. That’s not enough. It’s in seeing with the eye of the heart and living with a lively sense of connectedness. It’s in being fully human.
- Anima Fire is my publication