We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy. It's like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.
I wonder what would happen if I treated everyone like I was in love with them whether I like them or not, and whether they respond or not, and no matter what they say or do to me… just accept all that and turn my attention to some small, weak, tender, hidden part, and keep my eyes on that until it shines like a beam of light, like a bonfire I can warm my hands by and trust it to burn away all the waste which never was my business to meddle with. ~ Derek Tasker
If it is true that the only paradises are those we have lost, I know what name to give the tender and inhuman something that dwells in me today. An emigrant returns to his country. And I remember. The irony and tension fade away, and I am home once more. I don’t want to ruminate on happiness. It is much simpler and much easier than that. For what has remained untouched in these hours I retrieve from the depths of forgetfulness is the memory of a pure emotion, a moment suspended in eternity. Only this memory is true in me, and I always discover it too late. We love the gentleness of certain gestures, the way a tree fits into a landscape. And we have only one detail with which to recreate all this love, but it will do: the smell of a room too long shut up, the special sound of a footstep on the road. This is the way it is for me. And if I loved then in giving myself, I finally became myself, since only love restores us.
Albert Camus (Lyrical and Critical Essays.Vintage, 1970)