After the Movie – Marie Howe

My friend Michael and I are walking home arguing about the movie.
He says that he believes a person can love someone
and still be able to murder that person.

I say, No, that’s not love. That’s attachment.
Michael says, No, that’s love. You can love someone, then come to a day

when you’re forced to think “it’s him or me”
think “me” and kill him.

I say, Then it’s not love anymore.
Michael says, It was love up to then though.

I say, Maybe we mean different things by the same word.
Michael says, Humans are complicated: love can exist even in the
murderous heart.

I say that what he might mean by love is desire.
Love is not a feeling, I say. And Michael says, Then what is it?

We’re walking along West 16th Street—a clear unclouded night—and I hear my voice
repeating what I used to say to my husband: Love is action, I used to say
to him.

Simone Weil says that when you really love you are able to look at
someone you want to eat and not eat them.

Janis Joplin says, take another little piece of my heart now baby.

Meister Eckhardt says that as long as we love images we are doomed to
live in purgatory.

Michael and I stand on the corner of 6th Avenue saying goodnight.
I can’t drink enough of the tangerine spritzer I’ve just bought—

again and again I bring the cold can to my mouth and suck the stuff from
the hole the flip top made.

What are you doing tomorrow? Michael says.
But what I think he’s saying is “You are too strict. You are
a nun.”

Then I think, Do I love Michael enough to allow him to think these things
of me even if he’s not thinking them?

Above Manhattan, the moon wanes, and the sky turns clearer and colder.
Although the days, after the solstice, have started to lengthen,

we both know the winter has only begun.

Now I don’t know about y’all, but I’m with Marie Howe (or her speaker, at least) on this one. You can’t murder someone you love. You can’t shut that person out of your life. You can’t kill any of the good in them. Love is an action as much – or more so – than it is a feeling.

At least, I think so. But what do I know?

In other news, the widgets are still gone and I am sad.

I’m writing, I swear! Just nothing substantially different enough to post just yet. But, seriously, thanks to everyone who’s reading. It literally makes my day when someone says they’ve been looking at my blog, or when a comment pops up in my email. So, thank you. Thank you all for making me smile!

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2 thoughts on “After the Movie – Marie Howe

  1. So I’ve taken up to listening to ted talks while doing chores on Sunday mornings and I came across a gem by a neuroscientist who studies love. She said many things I found intriguing, but the most interesting to me was when she said that you could be in bed with someone you genuinely love, and think about someone else at the same time. In other words, her research has found strong evidence that we can love more than one person at once in the same way.
    However, I think that your “love is an action” statement helps to clarify the difference between what the brain/body feels and what is really love. For example, maybe you’re thinking about two people and are genuinely in love with more than one person, but you still favor one by choosing to save them from the hurt that you cheating might cause them. You know?
    Gosh that is convoluted. Basically, I’m still thinking about it. But I thought you’d find the research interesting. You should look up that talk sometime. I loved it.

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