Thursday 29 January 2009

Love & Endings

Some time ago, Crushed asked me to contribute the occasional post for his blog: I hesitated, mainly because I don’t have the faculty for writing openly about love or emotion that he has. If I do write about it, I couch it in metaphor, hide it in a subtext, or slosh it around the bottom of a pint glass.

But I thought I would give it a try now. Incidentally the timing of this post is neat, given Crushed’s positive romantic post below. He outlines how love can be real and temporary, whereas I suppose I write from a more pessimistic outlook – that it’s everything or nothing.

Being in love for me has been (was) a slow, deepening process, where language – words – has been more important than bodies. I don’t feel I understand body language as such: its claims and counter-claims, its rhetoric. Perhaps it was more a process of social adjustment than it was love, at first: tying in words, spoken and written, to what I saw. There were more words than anything else, which brought me closer - brought us closer.

And the interaction of bodies. But the effect of time, difference and knowledge, was that, eventually, the movement of bodies, and sweep of eyes, became the only form of communication. Was it truer? Not necessarily. Bodies, like words, lie. They become wrapped in their own experience, taking themselves away from where you thought you were starting. Slowly I began to understand then the rhetoric of the body. But I was shocked at how the words I had begun to search in vain for, and had been waiting for, were spoken in touch.

I thought, for a while, that this touch, knowing so much about me, was the sublimated language: the resurrected flow of words which had been the soul of the process of love. Only this time we spoke without equivocation: there seemed to be no sub-clauses to touch (though there are to kisses...).

In fact it was something else, which I still don’t understand. Love, as I understood it, perhaps. I’m not sure what else. Crushed, with his characteristic clarity, could describe it as a need to satiate lust: positive in itself, but nothing more than that. It might be a testament to my repression that I don’t share that view, or that I hope it is wrong. It might also be a sign that I just do not understand, and that I am still standing here, alone in the crowd, unsure how to make eye contact. But still - there was a kind of connection, a set or library of experiences and shared feelings and unshared feelings, and the knowledge of the other person, the actual physical and emotional map of them you carry with you. Something like that, which was strong, which felt like love, but which might only have been its echo or its redshift.

And so by the time that it had begun to leave its permanent mark, it had gone.

Reading this post, it’s full of exactly the slow-building burying of sense that I had wanted to avoid and the naivety of the perpetual adolescent. That’s the effect of one, long relationship, I suppose. I am probably one of these bloggers for whom it’s ranting or nowt. But, adapting Winston Smith (for pathetically bourgeois reasons), I can say that of pain I would only ever wish for less of it. And thought, and language, go further to creating the edifice of hurt than the act of losing the love you had thought was the great meaning of your life.


Anonymous said...

For me, the romantic connection I get with people is initially a mix between body language and actual language. But you're right, it does come down to words and expression. It's an interesting contrast between this article and Crushed's one below.

Anonymous said...

I tend not to analyze romantic connections that much. Which is maybe odd since I intellectualize everything else I do.

Anonymous said...

Ah. This is my problem. I don't intellectualise anything except my lovelife!

Anonymous said...

I think it is worth pondering the dynamics of these things.

How much of these things are habit forming comfort, I don't know.
In a sense, I think that longer tem love has an element of comfort involved. We get to be familiar with people and at ease with them.

A lot of it is things that are prrsent in non-romantic love too, like when you're watching something on Tv and it occurs to you this probably affects your friend, so you look over and you can see that though he's not saying anything, it IS affecting him.

My old flatmate D used to know if I was uncomfortable with a TV programme, because I'd tend to shift seating positions from sprawling, to sitting cross legged and rest my chin on my hands, like a praying Buddha. I didn't know I did it, but she spotted it.

I'm not sure we ever really come to terms with these feelings. You say like a perpetual adolescent?

I would say rather we learn to immunise ourselves over the years not to feel. But swhen it's real we can't help ourselves. And then we remember what it was like when we were adolescent.

Anonymous said...

Connections, building connections. You meet someone. You communicate. Leave aside if you may snog or be intimate for a second. That pysical intimacy might come at any time, better if it comes after a few meetings.

That gives you a jolt, some excitement, some (hopefully) shared pleasures. You might want to experience that again.

But what is important is the 'structure' you build. You enjoy their company, sharing ideas, talking, maybe intimacy too. You show cosideration and care they show it too. A realation ship evolves as you watch, probably unique to you two. Feed it with this stuff and it grows, establishing channels and deepens like a river delta.

Good will. Trust that you will catch each other, mutual consideration, affection, love. Careing, looking out for each other, knowing each other, anticipating the others wants and needs, likes and dislikes. Never keeping score.

It is not bleak and alien, not some cunning trap.