February 10, 2019

"I’ve wanted a higher power to provide that same narcotic delight one feels in the early stages of a relationship."

"In those rare white-light moments when I have felt a holy bliss, I’ve quickly purchased a candle or crystal, hoping to pocket the feeling. Unfortunately, that feeling cannot be contained in an object any more than it can be pinned down to one human being. It is so easy to confuse spiritual longing with a craving for romantic love. Beautiful people are everywhere, whereas the desire for some kind of eternal beauty or ineffable truth is more nebulous, always just out of reach. Recently, on a solo holiday trip to Paris... I saw a group of university students: three men and one woman. One of the men, the handsomest among them, kept reaching out to touch the woman’s earring. The woman would smile at him and then look down. I was reminded of the lovers frozen in time in John Keats’s poem 'Ode on a Grecian Urn.' They are eternally about to touch, forever on the precipice of kissing."

From "Life Without Longing/Who would I be if I wasn’t hustling to make some other person, real or imagined, fall in love with me?" by Melissa Broder (NYT). More text and lots of photographs at the link, including one of a Statue of Liberty street performer checking his iPhone.

What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?...

45 comments:

mccullough said...

Keats did not confuse spiritual longing with Romantic love.

Keats was Attic not Romantic.

jimbino said...

Why is it that people write, "Who would I be if I wasn’t hustling to make some other person, real or imagined, fall in love with me?" when he could write, in proper English, "Who would I be if I weren’t hustling to make some other person, real or imagined, fall in love with me?"

rhhardin said...

Kenneth Burke argued beauty and truth meant body and turd.

Yancey Ward said...

The subjunctive appears to be slowing dying out.

buwaya said...

Woman needs to go to church and find a husband.

Unfortunately for her, she wont find a husband in church, probably.
Way more women than men.

In the end people are remarkably simple, they are just very skilled at presenting their problems as complex.

Yancey Ward said...

I was confused by the article by the end- I was under the impression that we were seeing a photographic tour by Broder, but then the photographs weren't taken by her. What was the connection between the essay and the photography?

EDH said...

Sex robots to the rescue!

Dave Begley said...

"I don’t think a church is any holier than a sex shop."

Well, there's her problem.

She re-wrote "Splash" but flipped the characters. Tom Hanks is the Merman. Maybe he's Aquaman.

Dave Begley said...

She has a movie deal. I'm jealous.

Henry said...

The accompanying photos are a bizarre juxtaposition. I guess that's intentional. It really changes the piece. The writing is so utterly banal that you wonder if the photos -- of sex-shops, dead flowers, commercialized valentines -- has more to offer than art school cynicism.

rehajm said...

I’ve wanted a higher power to provide that same narcotic delight one feels in the early stages of a relationship

Maybe you're just in love with drugs?

amba said...

Wonderful, ironic photographs.

One of the French existentialists said that what we really desire is to desire. I wrote the quote down years ago, but now I can't find it.

JML said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JML said...

Yancy, I was also confused, then noticed it was "Produced by..."

She's full of herself, and another substance as well.

Is there anything truthful in the words? I'm not convinced.

traditionalguy said...

Romance is an art form. This writer seems to be a philistine seeking the creative art of a man and woman in a relationship. The perfect female form with a cute personality, a kind heart and a superior mind is a gift from the Matchmaker God who first did that when He presented Eve to Adam.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Your higher power likes it when you keep still. You can’t flail your way to coaxing it’s attention.

Seeing Red said...

Why does that sound narcissistic to me?

Bay Area Guy said...

Ditzy, new age, future cat woman, I predict.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

"What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace?

This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself”

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

..or maybe just Photoshop herself into a picture with Valentino

Fernandistein said...

To double the perceived narcotic delight, you need 10 times as much higher power.

Jim said...

"I don’t think a church is any holier than a sex shop. " The left in a nutshell. no objective truth, no beauty. But isn't it strange how the left 'discovers' the ancient truths about two genders, belief in God. The modern American university actively denies Western traditions and values. But manages to 'stumble' on them, after much public angst. intellectuals, indeed.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

Does Melissa Broder realize the maiden is striving to escape?

All I can say is

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter;


Melissa should have forborn to write.

Paco Wové said...

She sounds pretty demanding in what she wants from a Higher Power. Unfortunately, none of the ones on offer seem to meet her needs better than her own navel.

etbass said...

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.“
John 17:3

glenn said...

Long ago when I was young and full of myself my Dad and I were teasing each other about one of my few conquests. My grandmother overheard a smidge of the conversation, took me aside and said “I met your grandfather when I was 17. You aren’t doing anything we didn’t do. We just spent more time doing it and less time talking about it” There’s a moral there somewhere.

buwaya said...

The modern American university denies ANY traditions and traditional values.
It affirms only fashionable and ever mutating values created in its own subculture.

Fernandistein said...

What's Ode on a Grecian Urn?

Only two payments of $29.95!

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

@Fernandistein re: avatar

AOC should modify the Rolling Stone's logo and use it for her own.

from 'lapping tongue' to 'Braying Jackass'

Bob Boyd said...

"I’ve wanted a higher power to provide that same narcotic delight one feels in the early stages of a relationship."

At first I thought this was going to be an Obama voter revisiting the 2008 election.

n.n said...

The answer to life, the universe, and everything, is internally, externally, and mutually consistent.

Rae said...

I seem so empty
My endless longing goes on
I'm living like I'm lost these days

--"This Longing" Neverending White Lights

Clyde said...

Interesting photographs. The one of the tire with SEND NUDES on the side reminded me of something I saw on Facebook that said, "Don't send nudes. Send pictures of your medicine cabinet. I need to know what kind of psycho I'm dealing with."

ALP said...

Ugh - how can anyone read this drivel - I gave it up three sentences in. Seriously - I am truly curious. I never could read this kind of female navel gazing crap, even when I was the prime age for it!

bagoh20 said...

That thing that happens to us with new love is pretty powerful, but after being through it a few times, I'm torn on whether the wonderful feelings are worth the debilitation. You really are quite helpless in that state. I prefer the feeling of stable, long-term, dependable love. That makes me feel strong and grounded instead of weak and floating.

That is probably a maturity thing, since the same preference has settled in on me with intoxication of the chemical kind. There was a time when feeling out of control was the goal. Now I seek that feeling of peace and self-control.

Phil 3:14 said...

This was filler. High minded and thoughtfully curated filler.

Could a Netflix series with the right actors

Sebastian said...

"Life Without Longing/Who would I be if I wasn’t hustling to make some other person, real or imagined, fall in love with me?"

Well, you'd be just one of the many ejecated single women who apply their feminine powers of rationalization to try and justify their spinsterhood to themselves while not hurting their own feelings.

Expect more of the same as elite gender imbalances and the War on Men intensify--which will indirectly fuel prog politics, since Big Brother must protect the poor dears and punish the mean men out there.

Phidippus said...

This sounds like a very sad, confused, and lonely person. If she had greater self-knowledge, she might realize that her romantic longings are partly hormonally-driven and partly ego-driven.

Being a slave to the ego and its demands is a recipe for unhappiness. It is a spoiled child and is more unhappy the more attention you pay to it. She would do well to spend some time alone walking in the woods and learning to turn her wretched inner monologue off. Or at least getting a sense of what she is missing when it is turned on. Or that it exists at all, and is entirely her own creation, and is her prison as well.

Regarding the photographs, I chuckled at the "Cupid" boys t-shirts; it reminds me of something you would see in Japan. My guess is that the packaging probably was designed somewhere in Asia.

The only other photograph that spoke to me was "Flowers Inside". I like the composition and use of color, and the way the light reflects off the plastic, drawing attention to itself juxtaposed with the darker space behind it.

The rest serve as a good reminder of some of the reasons why I could never live in the city.

Earnest Prole said...

She can take her first step on the path to happiness by plumping up some.

rehajm said...

Don't send nudes. Send pictures of your medicine cabinet. I need to know what kind of psycho I'm dealing with.

Ask and ye shall receive: she did that, too!

Roy Lofquist said...

It's been done. Much better too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAyDmJvjxbg

Christy said...

I spent the afternoon searching unsuccessfully for a pithy Li Bai quote on the subject. 'Twas a lovely afternoon nonetheless.

Flirting supplies much of the delight she seeks.

Christy said...

The Li Bai paragraph was intended for the marriage is... post.

0_0 said...

If she thinks a crystal is going to do anything aside from sit there and do nothing, she isn't thinking rationally anyway.

Tina Trent said...

This would be a great announcement of running for president.