I love the night passionately. I love it as I love my country, or my mistress, with an instinctive, deep, and unshakeable love. I love it with all my senses: I love to see it, I love to breathe it in, I love to open my ears to its silence, I love my whole body to be caressed by its blackness. Skylarks sing in the sunshine, the blue sky, the warm air, in the fresh morning light. The owl flies by night, a dark shadow passing through the darkness; he hoots his sinister, quivering hoot, as though he delights in the intoxicating black immensity of space.
From my college courses and my reading I knew the various names that came at the end of a line of questions or were placed as periods to bafflement: the First Cause, the First Mover, the Life Force, the Universal Mind, the First Principle, the Unmoved Mover, even Providence. I too had used those names in arguing with others, and with myself, trying to explain the world to myself. And now I saw that those names explained nothing. They were of no more use than Evolution or Natural Selection or Nature or The Big Bang of these later days. All such names do is catch us within the length and breadth of our own thoughts and our own bewilderment. Though I knew the temptation of simple reason, to know nothing that can't be proved, still I supposed that those were not the right names.I imagined that the right name might be Father, and I imagined all that that name would imply: the love, the compassion, the taking offense, the disappointment, the anger, the bearing of wounds, the weeping of tears, the forgiveness, the suffering unto death. If love could force my own thoughts over the edge of the world and out of time, then could I not see how even divine omnipotence might by the force of its own love be swayed down into the world? Could I not see how it might, because it could know its creatures only by compassion, put on mortal flesh, become a man, and walk among us, assume our nature and our fate, suffer our faults and our death?Yes. I could imagine a Father who is yet like a mother hen spreading her wings before the storm or in the dusk before the dark night for the little ones of Port William to come in under, some of whom do, and some do not. I could imagine Port William riding its humble wave through time under the sky, its little flames of wakefulness lighting and going out, its lives passing through birth, pleasure, sufferning, and death. I could imagine God looking down upon it, its lives living by His spirit, breathing by His breath, knowing by His light, but each life living also (inescapably) by its own will--His own body given to be broken.
My love is as a fever, longing stillFor that which longer nurseth the disease;Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,The uncertain sickly appetite to please.My reason, the physician to my love,Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,Hath left me, and I desperate now approve,Desire his death, which physic did except.Past cure I am, now reason is past care,And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are,At random from the truth vainly express'd;For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.
I love Israel, I go back all the time. I just love New York a little more. My workers are Arabs, my best friend is a black man from Alabama, my girlfriend's a Puerto Rican, and my landlord is a half-Jew bastard. You know what I did this morning? I read in the paper yesterday that the circus is setting up in the Madison Square Garden, they said the elephants would be walking through the Holland Tunnel at dawn. I'm a photographer a little too, you know? So I get up at five o'clock, bike over to the tunnel, and wait. It turns out the paper got it wrong, they came through the Lincoln, but still, you know? This is a hell of a place.
All my life I have been a poor go-to-sleeper. No matter how great my weariness, the wrench of parting with consciousness is unspeakably repulsive to me. I loathe Somnus, that black-masked headsman binding me to the block; and if in the course of years I have got so used to my nightly ordeal as almost to swagger while the familiar axe is coming out of its great velvet-lined case, initially I had no such comfort or defense: I had nothing - save a door left slightly ajar into Mademoiselle's room. Its vertical line of meek light was something I could cling to, since in absolute darkness my head would swim, just as the soul dissolves in the blackness of sleep.
Suppose after all that death does end all. Next to eternal joy, next to being forever with those we love and those who have loved us, next to that, is to be wrapt in the dreamless drapery of eternal peace. Next to eternal life is eternal sleep.Upon the shadowy shore of death the sea of trouble casts no wave. Eyes that have been curtained by the everlasting dark, will never know again the burning touch of tears. Lips touched by eternal silence will never speak again the broken words of grief. Hearts of dust do not break. The dead do not weep. Within the tomb no veiled and weeping sorrow sits, and in the rayless gloom is crouched no shuddering fear.I had rather think of those I have loved, and lost, as having returned to earth, as having become a part of the elemental wealth of the world – I would rather think of them as unconscious dust, I would rather dream of them as gurgling in the streams, floating in the clouds, bursting in the foam of light upon the shores of worlds, I would rather think of them as the lost visions of a forgotten night, than to have even the faintest fear that their naked souls have been clutched by an orthodox god.I will leave my dead where nature leaves them. Whatever flower of hope springs up in my heart I will cherish, I will give it breath of sighs and rain of tears. But I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has created a human soul for eternal pain. I would rather that every god would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should suffer eternal agony.I have made up my mind that if there is a God, he will be merciful to the merciful.Upon that rock I stand. –That he will not torture the forgiving. –Upon that rock I stand. –That every man should be true to himself, and that there is no world, no star, in which honesty is a crime.Upon that rock I stand.The honest man, the good woman, the happy child, have nothing to fear, either in this world or the world to come.Upon that rock I stand.
That night I dreamed about flying turtles and forest fires and fucking the earth...The next morning I awoke and I listened to the tree company tearing away the woods and the timber. I heard the chainsaws ripping outside my open window and I heard the dynamite exploding all the mountain tops away for the black rock below. And instead of feeling sad like I did most mornings, I felt something else now. I found myself saying, 'Explode. Explode you mountains. Rip them down you fuckers. Take this stinking dirt and leave this land with hatred and death.
When I became convinced that the Universe is natural – that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world -- not even in infinite space. I was free -- free to think, to express my thoughts -- free to live to my own ideal -- free to live for myself and those I loved -- free to use all my faculties, all my senses -- free to spread imagination's wings -- free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope -- free to judge and determine for myself -- free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the "inspired" books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past -- free from popes and priests -- free from all the "called" and "set apart" -- free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies -- free from the fear of eternal pain -- free from the winged monsters of the night -- free from devils, ghosts and gods. For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought -- no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings -- no chains for my limbs -- no lashes for my back -- no fires for my flesh -- no master's frown or threat – no following another's steps -- no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain -- for the freedom of labor and thought -- to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains -- to those who proudly mounted scaffold's stairs -- to those whose bones were crushed, whose flesh was scarred and torn -- to those by fire consumed -- to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of men. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still.
I Have Loved Hours at SeaI have loved hours at sea, gray cities,The fragile secret of a flower,Music, the making of a poemThat gave me heaven for an hour;First stars above a snowy hill,Voices of people kindly and wise,And the great look of love, long hidden,Found at last in meeting eyes.I have loved much and been loved deeply—Oh when my spirit's fire burns low,Leave me the darkness and the stillness,I shall be tired and glad to go.
I love you, and it's not the kind of love that wavers. It's the scary kind that doesn't fade. I look at you, and I see not just everything I want for my life, but everything I am, because you took the emptiest, dark pits of my soul and filled them with you. You are as much part of me as my own heart, and it doesn't beat without you.
Every night I tell my children all of the things that I love about them. I tell them how proud I am of their accomplishments and how much better our lives have been since they were born. I hope they will always realize how much they are loved and valued. I feel so blessed that they are in my life.
I love going out of my way, beyond what I know, and finding my way back a few extra miles, by another trail, with a compass that argues with the map…nights alone in motels in remote western towns where I know no one and no one I know knows where I am, nights with strange paintings and floral spreads and cable television that furnish a reprieve from my own biography, when in Benjamin’s terms, I have lost myself though I know where I am. Moments when I say to myself as feet or car clear a crest or round a bend, I have never seen this place before. Times when some architectural detail on vista that has escaped me these many years says to me that I never did know where I was, even when I was home.
As we drove off into the moonless night, raindrops danced through our headlights like the fireflies of my childhood. I silently cursed the frailty of happiness and doubted whether it ever existed for me. I could remember happier times, though, and those memories fluttered about my mind like fireflies, beckoning with their elusive splendor. But chasing memories held no more promise than catching fireflies. The pursued feelings either vanished or lost their magic upon examination, hardly the green-glowing beauty seen at a distance. So I looked ahead of me and dreamed on into the darkness, hoping to one day find someone who would love me.
Oh, don't get me started! I love fantasy, I read it for pleasure, even after all these years. Pat McKillip, Ursula Le Guin and John Crowley are probably my favorite writers in the field, in addition to all the writers in the Endicott Studio group - but there are many others I also admire. In children's fantasy, I'm particularly keen on Philip Pullman, Donna Jo Napoli, David Almond and Jane Yolen - though my favorite novels recently were Midori Snyder's Hannah's Garden, Holly Black's Tithe, and Neil Gaiman's Coraline.I read a lot of mainstream fiction as well - I particularly love Alice Hoffman, A.S. Byatt, Sara Maitland, Sarah Waters, Sebastian Faulks, and Elizabeth Knox. There's also a great deal of magical fiction by Native American authors being published these days - Louise Erdrich's Antelope Wife, Alfredo Vea Jr.'s Maravilla, Linda Hogan's Power, and Susan Power's Grass Dancer are a few recent favorites.I'm a big fan of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, and Anthony Trollope - I re-read Jane Austen's novels in particular every year.Other fantasists say they read Tolkien every year, but for me it's Austen. I adore biographies, particularly biographies of artists and writers (and particularly those written by Michael Holroyd). And I love books that explore the philosophical side of art, such as Lewis Hyde's The Gift, Carolyn Heilbrun's Writing a Woman's Life, or David Abram's Spell of the Sensuous.(from a 2002 interview)
I love so many books and authors that it's hard to name just a few, but I'm always particularly excited when new books by Alice Hoffman, John Crowley, Joanne Harris, Elizabeth Knox, and Patricia McKillip come out. (And, of course, books by Ellen [Kushner], and Holly [Black], and the rest of the Bordertown crew!) I'm impatiently looking forward to Susanna Clarke's next book too.Aside from writing and reading, my favorite things to do are paint, walk in the countryside with my dog, and listen to music -- especially when it's live and it's played by friends. Fortunately there's a lot of live music where I live.
Unending LoveI seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times...In life after life, in age after age, forever.My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,In life after life, in age after age, forever.Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age old pain,It's ancient tale of being apart or together.As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,Clad in the light of a pole-star, piercing the darkness of time.You become an image of what is remembered forever.You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.At the heart of time, love of one for another.We have played along side millions of lovers,Shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting,the distressful tears of farewell,Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in youThe love of all man's days both past and forever:Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours -And the songs of every poet past and forever.
I wanted to putt my hand on this hand and hold it still under mine, made still by his made still. Oh he was bright and I was dark and I gave him all my darkness on that ship; but we joined, for all good things in the world, and to find somethin together; and loved, I never knew I could do it and was afraid; and on the bow of the ship that night that he said, "What have we done Christy?"I said, wonderin too, "But somethin good will come of this, I know somethin good will come of this..."Only sorrow came.
One night I dreamed of an angel: I walked into a huge, empty bar and saw him sitting in a corner with his elbows on the table and a cup of milky coffee in front of him. She’s the love of your life, he said, looking up at me, and the force of his gaze, the fire in his eyes, threw me right across the room. I started shouting, Waiter, waiter, then opened my eyes and escaped from that miserable dream. Other nights I didn’t dream of anyone, but I woke up in tears.
Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth... This is the real message of love.
Mad Girl's Love SongI shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;I lift my lids and all is born again.(I think I made you up inside my head.)The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,And arbitrary blackness gallops in:I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.I dreamed that you bewitched me into bedAnd sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.(I think I made you up inside my head.)God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:Exit seraphim and Satan's men:I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.I fancied you'd return the way you said,But I grow old and I forget your name.(I think I made you up inside my head.)I should have loved a thunderbird instead;At least when spring comes they roar back again.I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.(I think I made you up inside my head.)
Nick and the CandlestickI am a miner. The light burns blue. Waxy stalactitesDrip and thicken, tearsThe earthen wombExudes from its dead boredom. Black bat airsWrap me, raggy shawls, Cold homicides.They weld to me like plums.Old cave of calcium Icicles, old echoer.Even the newts are white,Those holy Joes.And the fish, the fish ----Christ! they are panes of ice,A vice of knives, A piranha Religion, drinkingIts first communion out of my live toes. The candleGulps and recovers its small altitude,Its yellows hearten.O love, how did you get here? O embryoRemembering, even in sleep, Your crossed position. The blood blooms cleanIn you, ruby. The painYou wake to is not yours.Love, love,I have hung our cave with roses, With soft rugs ----The last of Victoriana. Let the starsPlummet to their dark address,Let the mercuric Atoms that cripple drip Into the terrible well,You are the oneSolid the spaces lean on, envious. You are the baby in the barn.