1. There’s a strange feeling I get when looking over old love letters.
The strangeness is precisely the lack of feeling. I’m not regretful or saddened when reading them, despite the prayers then mumbled to myself, the agonizing over every word, the attempt to influence a heart with some scribblings.
The intensity is gone completely. Amanda shared with me this poem from Neruda recently, and while it describes places I think I’ve been, I can’t help but feel, especially when looking at lines like these:
Like a flower to its perfume, I am bound to my vague memory of
you. I live with pain that is like a wound; if you touch me, you will
do me irreparable harm….
I have forgotten your love, yet I seem to glimpse you in every
Because of you, the heady perfumes of summer pain me; because
of you, I again seek out the signs that precipitate desires: shooting
stars, falling objects.
…I can’t help but feel those lines are conditional. Neruda’s poem has imagery that moves upward – from flowers to statues to climbing vines to things that fall from heaven. He makes a simile between himself and a flower, and yet situates the poem at night finally, making the reader wonder not only how he moved from spring to summer so easily, but why “day” was assumed as the setting the whole time. I never thought of a flower as seeking daylight, but that is indeed what they do.
And now I realize where time really passes one by. Neruda’s love is dreamlike because so much of love depends on the deepest, highest desires.
I suspect the love letters weren’t products of dreams, but attempts to dream.
2. Somebody actually had the courtesy recently to ask me where my political vision/hope for education is going. That made me smile and wonder: I don’t think we ever get a Socratic dialogue where Socrates is asked straight-up, in a good way, what he would like for Athens and his own citizens.
I think it’s safe to say that despite this blog’s flaws, despite my flaws, this is a love letter of sorts. Last time I said that aloud when blogging at another site I was thoroughly castigated. “How dare I assert that my writing is better than that of other bloggers” was the tone – at that site, since we were all blogging as part of a community, clearly all writing was created equal.
Truly worrisome is the fact I’ve made friends that I can’t and couldn’t do much for, despite their immense need in some cases. It may be the case I don’t have the right to write a love letter.
So perhaps this is just an attempt, once again. Dreams may only be understood when achieved.