Let’s not abuse words like “love”. It’s a very sensitive word and it wears out quickly. Romeo barely says it. It’s a currency that’s easily devalued. Pretty soon you’re saying it whenever you hang up the phone or whenever you leave. It turns into an apology. Then it’s an excuse. Some assholes want it to be a bulletproof vest: don’t hate me; I love you. But mostly it just means: more. More, more, give me something more. A couple of years from now, when you’re on your own completely, if you really fall in love, if it really comes to that -and I pity you if it does- you have to look right down into the black of her eyes, right down into the emptiness in there and feel everything, absolutely everything she needs and you have to be willing to drown in it. You’d have to want to be crushed, buried alive. Because that’s what real love feels like: choking. They used to bury some women in their wedding dresses, you know. I thought it was because all those husbands were too cheap to spring for another gown, but now it makes sense: love is your first foot in the grave. That’s why the second most abused word is “forever”.
Emptiness, which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness, was in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities. I become aware of the void as I fill it. This accidental meeting of possibilities calls itself I. But as an old man I ask: what am I doing here? My mind just keeps fogging over. And, at once, this I becomes unreal. It’s as soul erosion, the slow accumulation of small forces and events that ultimately dries and leaves the heart empty. Is this the natural evolution of our needs?
Try to imagine this: You’re a farmer, living all alone on the Papean tundra. Day after day you plow your fields. As far as the eye can see, nothing. To the north, the horizon, to the east, the horizon, to the south, to the west, more of the same. Every morning, when the sun rises in the east, you go out to work in your fields. When it’s directly overhead, you take a break for lunch. When it sinks in the west, you go home to sleep. And then one day, something inside you dies. Day after day you watch the sun rise in the east, pass across the sky, then sink in the west, and something breaks inside you and dies. You toss your plow aside and, your head completely empty of thought, begin walking toward the west. Heading toward a land that lies west of the sun. Like someone, possessed, you walk on, day after day, not eating or drinking, until you collapse on the ground and die. What is it? This sound… Ohh. I don’t know what it is. Comes from beyond the edge of the world, where there’s a space in which nothingness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop. And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever heard.
Of love & emptiness – Dugutigui on texts from Haruki Murakami
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