The Sense That Love Makes
One thing I must admit: a failure of lucidity in regard to love. It is so easy to assume that love is somehow a solution to a problem. Like: life is a problem which is impossible until someone comes along that you can love. Love is a key to a hidden answer in us. And so on, but is this true? Or is it only what everybody wants to be true? Maybe love, like everything else, is in large measure absurd. Does love too have to make perfect sense? In what way does it have to?
The sense that love makes, and I think the only sense it makes, is the beloved. The discovery, the revelation of the absolute value of the one loved. This is not so much a discovery of meaning as a discovery of goodness. To think of love as an answer or a “solution” is to evade the stark directness of this discovery. The fact that you are you is something of absolute value to me. But if I love in a certain way, this becomes covered over and hidden with all the operations of love, and what happens then is that love takes the place of the beloved. Then love, instead of being a solution (which it is not supposed to be) becomes a problem for which there is no solution. For then love stands in the way between the lovers. It veils the goodness of the beloved. It dresses (or undresses) the beloved as a desirable object. Which is all right, too, except that one loves desire instead of the beloved.
The fact that you are: that you are you. This is all I have left. But it is the whole of love. And nothing can change it.
June 1966, VI.307