Saturday, January 18, 2003

On love and time

I've heard an unusual amount about love in recent days, and Fabio's post has persuaded me to (temporarily) avoid worrying about "projecting a controlled version of [my] own self to the outside world [and] always trying to somehow predict the ambushes that reality often sets up along our paths though life."

Love makes me anxious. I find the word "love" to be painfully limiting in its vagueness. And declarations of love are dangerous. As I told someone the other day, I am in love with love even though I feel betrayed by romance. Romantic love promises so much more than it can possibly deliver and takes too much. It can never be a sustaining or sustainable love because, I believe, it seeks to dwell outside of time.

Fabio describes the "little, indiscernible details that sometimes make all the difference. Small acts of love that are even more valuable because they are done knowing no one will even notice," as found in the pleasure of coding, "avoiding the most obvious and crude solutions and spending (precious) time looking for simpler, cleaner alternatives."

This reminds me of doing archaeology. Of the texture and smell of dirt and stone. The burn in my thighs from squatting for too many hours. The first touch and feel as an artefact comes out of the earth. (I suddenly fear I have never been so gentle and reverent caressing a lover.) The precision cleaning, recording and storing of an object. The biting smell of human bone. The complete submission to a different time, or maybe instead, to an infinite extension of time, all in an attempt to love people who will never know.

And so I wonder if Fabio's love of coding and my love of archaeology are like romantic love - trying to persist outside of time? How do these types and acts of love help to place us in real time? Help us actually survive the treachery of the everyday? Or face the "obvious and crude"?


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