Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Daily Tea: Do You Trust Enough to Love?

From my friend, in reference to the above passage:
I'm stuck on a passage in "Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone," where he says the following after the protagonist has had a heart attack after performing on stage. He's a black bisexual man who is having a secret relationship with both a white woman and a black man. It seems that his girlfriend is also an actress in the company. Thoughts?

"Everyone wishes to be loved, but, in the event nearly no one can bear it. Everyone desires love but also finds it impossible to believe that he deserves it. However great the private disasters to which love may lead, love itself is strikingly and mysteriously impersonal; it is a reality which is not altered by anything one does. Therefore, one does many things, turns the key in the lock over and over again, hoping to be locked out. Once locked out, one will never again be forced to encounter in the eyes of a stranger who loves him the impenetrable truth concerning the stranger, oneself, who is loved. And yet--one would prefer, after all, not to be locked out. One would prefer, merely, that the key unlocked a less stunningly unusual door."
James Baldwin, American author
from Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone


My response:
"And yet--one would prefer, after all, not to be locked out. One would prefer, merely, that the key unlocked a less stunningly unusual door"

Exactly. Love is something that we desire but strikes fear. We are commitment shy or afraid of being hurt. So, in efforts to fool ourselves, we pretend that we don't need it and we can go about our way being "happily single and free". In actuality, I'm sure the majority of us would welcome it if it were more simple. Even a cynic wouldn't be able to resist. However, is anything worth having ever simple to come by? I also agree that love is not something that we can personally control. The beauty of love is that one must give over everything to truly fall in love. Love is placing your heart in someone else's hands. Love isn't unlocking the door. It's giving someone else the keys to do it for you.