Such doubts only inflame desire. As Rabih has realized, the most attractive people aren’t those who accept him right away (he doubts their judgement) or those who never give him a chance (he grows to resent their indifference) but rather those who, for unfathomable reasons – perhaps a competing romantic entanglement or a cautious nature, a physical predicament or a psychological inhibition, a religious commitment or a political objection – leave him turning for a little while in the wind. The
How mean to buy only as many books as one will actually have time to read.
A good half of the art of living is resilience.
A well-loved child is set a challenging precedent. In its very nature, parental love works to conceal the effort which went into generating it. It shields the recipient from the donor’s complexity and sadness – and from an awareness of how many other interests, friends and concerns the parent has sacrificed in the name of love.
Objects mimic in a material dimension what we require in a psychological one. We need to rearrange our minds but are lured towards new shelves. We buy a cashmere cardigan as a substitute for the counsel of friends. We
He will conclude that love can endure only when one is unfaithful to its beguiling opening ambitions; and that for his relationships to work he will need to give up on the feelings that got him into them in the first place. He will need to learn that love is a skill rather than an enthusiasm.
There may be significant things to learn about people by looking at what annoys them most.
Watching crowds step off the escalators and onto the concourse, I thought it miraculous that in the midst of so many people, I should ever be able to find her–as well as testimony to the strange particularities of desire that it should be precisely she whom I needed to find.
By overwhelming consensus, our culture locates the primary difficulty of relationships in finding the ‘right’ person rather than in knowing how to love a real – that is, a necessarily rather unright – human being.
The possibility of an alternative love story is a reminder that the life we are leading is only one of a myriad of possible lives and it is the impossibility of leading them all that plunges us into sadness.