7.18.2010

Some Thoughts on Love



This something that I've been working out and, at the end of said working out, is seems achingly, embarrassingly obvious. But I'll proffer it nonetheless. Here it goes:

Love is an abiding attraction to another point of view.

Now, I wanted to say that love is an attraction to another point of view that you want to be around a lot. But that's one version of love, namely, lust. Lust can be for another person but you can lust for a book, work of art, film. When I first saw Sarah Sze's installation sculpture at SF MOMA, "Things Fall Apart," I was in lust, going to the museum everyday just to be near it, take it in, enjoy it. I would giggle at all its moves: I was attracted to its point of view, to the way it distributes the world.

Because love abides, the object need not be close. There are people I love, things I love, that I not only rarely see but rarely want to see. I appreciate how these people, or these things, go. But that doesn't mean I want to be near them. Just as there are things I sometimes want to be around that I don't love, things whose point of view I don't appreciate — I just want to touch a piece of them, their shiny surface, their glimmer.

Love is an abiding attraction to another point of view.

One thing I really like about this formulation is that love is not about unity but difference: I love another point of view, one that is not my own. And yet I am attracted to it. This point of view, then, is not utterly different; it is not alien. It resonates with how I go, fits with my network but without becoming the same as me.

This formulation also removes love from a pure abstraction. It makes love practical, a matter of harmonies and convergences. And yet it does not rely on some radical materialism. On the contrary, this formulation is situated at the juncture of the visible and the invisible, outside the dichotomy that would keep body and spirit apart.

Love is an abiding how that resonates with a different particular how. What I like about this formulation is that it makes love a mode of going with rather than a unification. It's not that love makes me whole. It's that love makes me resonate like this.

4 comments:

what the Tee Vee taught said...

Yes, this is nice. I shudder when love is portrayed as something that is, or should be, shared between two people — like they both have the same thing going on, or something.

aysegul said...

wonderful formulation! so love is not a reaching towards since there is no love out there like an object or ideal but a leap otherwise impossible, the leap to another point of view. That is magical of course in regard to subject/ object dichotomy. That's why love is and should be the condition of true philosophy. So Badiou is right in a sense.

Daniel Coffeen said...

Aysegul! Nice to see you here. It turns out Badiou is right about a lot of things....

Yes yes yes: I like this image of love as resonant, as a particular mode of resonance between two bodies.

And I think there is a great generosity here — the generosity of a love that always already forgives difference (rather than a dictatorial love that seeks to unify).

aysegul said...

You already say all the wonderful things. What is left to me is to multiply this beautiful perspective as much as I can: to rephrase, to repeat, to recombine. I have been doing it for a while now.
Thank you.