We are imperfect mortal beings, aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or for worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.
—Joan Didion | The Year of Magical Thinking
(via Now, You See Me)
This rings so true for me in the wake of T’s death. There is nothing like a person’s passing, especially when that passing is unexpected to make you reflect on the past. I will miss T more than I can say, but either alongside or wholly part of that is missing the way being in T’s presence, laughing and joking and chatting and being welcomed back home by him, made me feel. Reading everyone’s words in memory of him, the experiences they’ve had with him that left impressions on them, has sent me into tears no fewer than 5 times in the past week. We will never be as we were in those moments again. I am going to his funeral tomorrow where I will sob with the loss, and that will be one thing. But I already know that at Reunions, I will struggle to find the courage to walk into the kitchen, and I cannot imagine anything other than being reduced to tears by all that I won’t find there, all that is no longer.
Why wasn’t friendship as good as a relationship? Why wasn’t it even better? It was two people who remained together, day after day, bound not by sex or physical attraction or money or children or property, but only by the shared agreement to keep going, the mutual dedication to a union that could never be codified. Friendship was witnessing another’s slow drip of miseries, and long bouts of boredom, and occasional triumphs. It was feeling honored by the privilege of getting to be present for another person’s most dismal moments, and knowing that you could be dismal around him in return.
– A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara
(via the dopest ethiopienne)
THIS. IS. SO. IMPORTANT. I may be in a serious cohabiting relationship, but that relationship does not exist to the exclusion or, really, even to the detriment of my friendships, either those that came before the start of my relationship or those that have blossomed since. I have picked my closest friends to exist in my life now and tomorrow and for as many tomorrows as we have left, however awesome or shitty or meh those days may be, simply because I like them. Because something in me resonates with something in them, something about them makes me wanna say, “This one! Yeah, I really enjoy this one. Let’s be important to one another forever.” And the circumstances of my romantic life don’t cancel these other relationships out or make them matter less. I hope that can always be true.
You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.
—Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran
A) I immediately thought of Quad when I read this quote.
B) This is a fantastic book and I highly recommend if you haven’t read it.
We are like children building a sand castle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.
—Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
(via My Found Polyamory)
Another important way in which the erotic connection functions is the open and fearless underlining of my capacity for joy, in the way my body stretches to music and opens into response, harkening to its deepest rhythms so every level upon which I sense also opens to the erotically satisfying experience whether it is dancing, building a bookcase, writing a poem, or examining an idea.
That self-connection shared is a measure of the joy which I know myself to be capable of feeling, a reminder of my capacity for feeling. And that deep and irreplaceable knowledge of my capacity for joy comes to demand from all of my life that it be lived within the knowledge that such satisfaction is possible, and does not have to be called marriage, nor god, nor an afterlife.
This is one reason why the erotic is so feared, and so often relegated to the bedroom alone, when it is recognized at all. For once we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of. Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. And this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe.
—Audre Lorde, The Uses of the Erotic
(via Things I’ve Learned from Being Open)