“But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.”
Or at least risks it–thinking of love. The stuff of Hallmark cards and heart-shaped sweets, love (despite all its complexity) is too often served up as a cardboard character: rainbows and ponies.
Love is so much more interesting than we usually allow ourselves to think. So multi-hued. So as Kahlil Gibran describes it.
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night:
Pierre Bonnard’s beloved Marthe. Liquescing in her tub, sunk in polychromatic symphony — the painting begun the year she died, he seeing it through in all her vanishing (a melody to the night).
To know the pain of too much tenderness:
These hands by Kathe Kollwitz… the hands of a mother brought to life in a 1900 drawing by a mother whose own son Peter was to die on a World War I battlefield 14 years later. 31 years she carried her grief, not to pass herself until 1945. Kathe Kollwitz knew the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love:
My own. The day Elisif died, my head filled with what I had to make: 24 red-pastel-grounded drawings, each 24″x24″ (Elisif gone at age 24), vivid cadmium yellow gouache in lined turbulence — Elisif’s brilliant and restless spirit; my love song. (Wounded by my own understanding of love.)
And to bleed willingly and joyfully:
And to bleed willingly and joyfully. And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
That: that is love.