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TotD: Emma Goldman on Love

Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful molder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force be synonymous with that poor little State and Church-begotten weed, marriage?

Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere.

Anarchism and Other EssaysEmma Goldman, "Marriage and Love," Anarchism and Other Essays (1911)

TotD: Carter Heyward on Love

Carter Hey­ward:

Love, like truth and beau­ty, is con­crete. Love is not fun­da­men­tal­ly a sweet feel­ing; not, at heart, a mat­ter of sen­ti­ment, attach­ment, or being “drawn toward.” Love is active, effec­tive, a mat­ter of mak­ing rec­i­p­ro­cal and mutu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial rela­tion with one’s friends and ene­mies. Love cre­ates right­eous­ness, or jus­tice, here on earth. To make love is to make jus­tice. As advo­cates and activists for jus­tice know, lov­ing involves strug­gle, resis­tance, risk. Peo­ple work­ing today on behalf of women, blacks, les­bians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this coun­try and else­where know that mak­ing jus­tice is not a warm, fuzzy expe­ri­ence. I think also that sex­u­al lovers and good friends know that the most com­pelling rela­tion­ships demand hard work, patience, and a will­ing­ness to endure ten­sions and anx­i­ety in cre­at­ing mutu­al­ly empow­er­ing bonds.

For this rea­son lov­ing involves com­mit­ment. We are not auto­mat­ic lovers of self, oth­ers, world, or God. Love does not just hap­pen. We are not love machines, pup­pets on the strings of a deity called “love.” Love is a choice – not sim­ply, or nec­es­sar­i­ly, a ratio­nal choice, but rather a will­ing­ness to be present to oth­ers with­out pre­tense or guile. Love is a con­ver­sion to human­i­ty – a will­ing­ness to par­tic­i­pate with oth­ers in the heal­ing of a bro­ken world and bro­ken lives. Love is the choice to expe­ri­ence life as a mem­ber of the human fam­i­ly, a part­ner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.

Diane Duane Rocks

The Sword and the DragonBack when the Meisha Merlin warehouse was being cleaned out, Sam picked up a copy of The Sword and the Dragon, first volume of the Epic Tales of the Five by Diane Duane that MM put out. It contains The Door Into Fire and The Door Into Shadow.

The Door Into FireI've wanted my own copies of the first three Tales of the Five books for decades, since reading an old friend's copies. I'm still disappointed that MM never put out the next volume, which should have included The Door Into Sunset and the never-before-published The Door Into Starlight. But then, there are other people who have far more reason to be disappointed about MM matters than I do, so I can't fuss too much. And I have this volume, and will continue to hold out hope that Duane will find a new publisher who will bring out the others sometime in my lifetime.

The Door Into ShadowAnyway, I had to stop reading to show this bit to Sam. It sums up much of what I love about Duane's philosophy.

…death is inevitable. But we have one power, as men and beasts and creatures of other planes. We can slow down the Death, we can die hard, and help all the worlds die hard. To live with vigor, to love powerfully and without caring whether we're loved back, to let loose building and teaching and healing and all the arts that try to slow down the great Death. Especially joy, just joy itself. A joy flares bright and goes out like the stars that fall, but the little flare it makes slows down the great Death ever so slightly. That's a triumph, that it can be slowed down at all, and by such a simple thing.

The Door Into Sunset

And That’s the Week

I con­sid­er Sun­day the first day of the week, rather than the last.

It was a week full of appoint­ments for the girl, and get­ting paper­work shuf­fled to var­i­ous bureau­cra­cies. Sam and I had love­ly dates Wednes­day and tonight, although both of us were so exhaust­ed Wednes­day that we turned in much ear­li­er than usual.

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TotD: Written On the Body

I'd never heard of Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson (or of the author, at all) until I was browsing through some of the quotations at Gaia1 a while back. This bit is too long for my quotations file, but I love it too much to just delete it.

Written On the Body"You'll get over it…" It's the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it's The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to? I've thought a lot about death recently, the finality of it, the argument ending in mid-air. One of us hadn't finished, why did the other one go? And why without warning? Even death after long illness is without warning. The moment you had prepared for so carefully took you by storm. The troops broke through the window and snatched the body and the body is gone. The day before the Wednesday last, this time a year ago, you were here and now you're not. Why not? Death reduces us to the baffled logic of a child. If yesterday why not today? And where are you? Fragile creatures of a small blue planet, surrounded by light years of silent space. Do the dead find peace beyond the rattle of the world? What peace is there for us whose best love cannot return them even for a day? I raise my head to the door and think I will see you in the frame. I know it is your voice in the corridor but when I run outside the corridor is empty. There is nothing I can do that will make any difference. The last word is yours. The fluttering in the stomach goes away and the dull waking pain. Sometimes I think of you and I feel giddy. Memory makes me lightheaded, drunk on champagne. All the things we did. And if anyone had said this was the price I would have agreed to pay it. That surprises me; that with the hurt and the mess comes a shaft of recognition. It was worth it. Love is worth it.

After reading about the book, I was surprised to find that it isn't about the obvious sort of loss. The novel is described as an erotic homage to a lover's body, but one of the intriguing aspect is that the author never gives the narrator a gender. I'm going to try to find it to give it a read.


1 Yes, I'm TechnoMom there, like most places.

Sam and Saturday

Yes, it was anoth­er date night. Yay! (They are the high­lights of my week, with good rea­son.) The girl went out on a date, so we had the house to ourselves.

It still feels odd, at times, not to have any kids around, and not to even be wor­ried about pick­ing them up. We like the young man she’s dat­ing, so we feel fair­ly good about her being out with him, and don’t get very ner­vous. Still, there’s a cer­tain lev­el of aware­ness that nev­er seems to go away when you can’t per­son­al­ly ver­i­fy your child’s imme­di­ate wellbeing.

In any case, it was a love­ly evening. I do love my Sam, and he nev­er does stop spoil­ing me.

Pirates!

Not the nice, John­ny Depp kind, no. The pillage/​rape/​murder sort, spiced up with demon-wor­ship­ping shark people.

Tonight was date night, and I was impa­tient to be back to our game. We’d left off at a very unre­solved point the last time we played, before the week­end. It would be almost impos­si­ble for some­one else to enter that game at this point, so we played oth­er things while Hope was vis­it­ing. I didn’t mind, but when you’re in the mid­dle of sneak­ing in to a pirate king­dom ward­ed by psion­ic killers, you real­ly, real­ly want to know if you’ll make it out again!

Katie went out with her beau and friends, and Sam brought din­ner home. He had to run errands before com­ing home, which we try to avoid on Wednes­day nights, espe­cial­ly, but some­times it happens.

Warn­ing: Gam­ing recap next. Skip if you hate such things.
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Hump Day For You, Date Night For Us

It’s amaz­ing how much a mid-week date can cheer you up! I do rec­om­mend reg­u­lar­ly sched­uled dates to any­one who has a sig­nif­i­cant oth­er or oth­ers. Espe­cial­ly if you have kids!

The girl went out, as usu­al. She sur­prised us by com­ing home ear­ly. Not a prob­lem, just unex­pect­ed. She’s got­ten into the habit of knock­ing on the front door and wait­ing for a response before she walks in, to avoid see­ing any­thing she might not want to see 😉 Smart girl!

Semester done!

I took my project man­age­ment final tonight, so I’m done with the semes­ter! Now I’m try­ing to down­load the text­book files for next semes­ter, but the ebook serv­er is hav­ing Issues. 

In the mean­time, I’m lis­ten­ing to some love­ly new music, free and legal, over at The­Six­ty­One. I don’t know how Sam found out about the place, but it’s neat.

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