What We Talk about when we Talk about Love

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Ray Carver has a great story of that name, and I like to think about that. What do we talk about when talk about love? Murakami who has done a lot of translation of Carver into Japanese has a book, What We Talk about When we Talk about Running which I really love. He is a serious runner and I am not. But I like to think about running and the way it creates grooves in your skull that are always there. And when you’ve been away from it, your body teeters on the edge of not being able to do it any more and wanting to do it. And then, in my case, you start up again and the first day you hate it and the first week it’s tedious and then you tip over and you like it again.

What I talk about when I talk about love.

You’re renting a cabin for three weeks out in the nothing. There is literally nothing to do there but write and hike on the green. Every few days you drive to the store and you get mushrooms and chicken and eggs and greens hills and mountains. For breakfast you make eggs. For lunch you have a little cheese and for dinner you have salad and chicken or turkey. That’s all, you are alone with this one person for three weeks. Tonight driving to the hotel where we pick up Wifi for a few minutes, we were approached by another car on the narrow road which has only one lane. We went far off to give her room and then we teetered over the edge of a gully. We studied the situation, and then I pushed the car out. If it had been too much for me, we would have changed it up, but he’s the better driver. (You have no idea how it pains me to admit this.)

And you wake and are happy to still be alone together. And you take turns hiking, and you take turns cooking, and you read each other what you’ve written and you decide when to pour the wine. Not too early. And you read a lot and you make a lot of jokes not all of them as funny as you think but you laugh anyway. And one night, you cheat on your strict schedule of no bread, pasta, cake, cookies –no gluten—and you have bread and it is wonderful like magic.

You know where the other is wounded and you avoid the wounds. That’s love. You walk carefully in the world, like they were a fern or a small forest animal, and you were sunlight, you touch and hum with light but you are aware of the small breaks in the forest.

If you live in a house that is big enough for all your kids to visit, that’s nice. If you’re a parent and you move to a house without rooms for your kids or space for them to visit, does that make you a jerk? Not necessarily. Maybe you can only afford a very little house. We live in the house we raised our kids in so they can all still come back, but if we moved to a smaller house, I would make sure there was room for them to visit. You have room for people if you love them.

If you have a large fountain in front of your house and/or statues, does that make you a jerk? Now that is a whole other question. There are some show off houses in this part of Ireland, so I’m thinking. Maybe I need to meet all the people in fountain houses. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m sure some of them are charming, but the fountains in front? Really now?

Published in: on June 15, 2013 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  

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