“..It’s a very mysterious thing,
that electric thing that happens,
and then the agony that can follow.
The troubadours celebrate the agony.
of the love, the sickness the
doctors cannot cure, the wounded…
The wound is the wound of my passion
and the agony of my love for this creature.
The only one who can heal me
is the one who delivered the blow.”
— JOSEPH CAMPBELL, The Power of Myth
I was reading up on Nathaniel Hawthorne today—shy, reclusive, so handsome he stopped a gypsy woman in her tracks—and found this:
“Sometimes, during my solitary life in our old Salem house, it seemed to me as if I had only life enough to know that I was not alive. But, at length, you were revealed to me, in the shadow of a seclusion as deep as my own. I drew nearer and nearer to you, and opened my heart to you, and you came to me, and will remain forever, keeping my heart warm and renewing my life with your own.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne, in a letter to his future wife, Sophia Amelia Peabody
Folks, people do not write love letters like they used to. Heck, letters themselves are nearly things of the past (literally, figuratively, take your pick). Finding art in an email is like seeing a unicorn.
Tolstoy on love, to his fiance, Valeria Arsenev: I already love in you your beauty, but I am only beginning to love in you that which is eternal and ever precious – your heart, your soul. Beauty one could get to know and fall in love with in one hour and cease to love it as speedily; but the soul one must learn to know. Believe me, nothing on earth is given without labour, even love, the most beautiful and natural of feelings.
John Keats to Fanny Brawne: I have a sensation at the present moment as though I were dissolving ….I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion – I have shudder’d at it – I shudder no more – I could be martyr’d for my religion – love is my religion – I could die for that – I could die for you. My creed is love and you are its only tenet – you have ravish’d me away by a power I cannot resist.
There are others. Mozart bubbles. Kafka writhes. Julia Lee-Booker swoons.
Out of curiosity, what’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever seen or read?