What has occasionally occupied my mind is love and its ingredients: What does love mean? When do you decide you love someone? Is there really a difference between falling in love, being in love, and loving? Where does love come from? Let me quickly point out that this post is not meant to answer all or any of those questions. Not only because it would take more than a brief blog to answer these complex questions, but also because if I actually knew the answers to all these questions, I would be enjoying a comfortable retirement, most likely in Corsica.
What stands out most to me about having a lover is that you see a fluffy cloud against the pale blue of the sky and you think of them, that you know you are susceptible to pain by allowing them to explore all corners of your being and yet you are willing to set them free in your soul. I know conventionally we think of our heart as the place our lover resides, but the truth is that it is our brains that are engaged. We not just let them traverse all crevices of our brain, but we welcome it. In doing so, we allow them to see the light and the purity within us. At the same time, we explore the dark corners of our being with them. This is what these pictures exemplify for me – the vulnerability of both the light and the darkness within.
And of course, as it is my habit, songs and poems bloom in my head during a shoot. If you have been following me, I am going through a Neruda phase.
Excerpt from Love Poem XIV
from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Cancion Desesperada)
Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and even your breasts smell of it.
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth.
How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the gray light unwind in turning fans.
My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
I go so far as to think that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells,
dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
Ahora, ahora también, pequeña, me traes madreselvas,
y tienes hasta los senos perfumados.
Mientras el viento triste galopa matando mariposas
yo te amo, y mi alegría muerde tu boca de ciruela.
Cuánto te habrá dolido acostumbrarte a mí,
a mi alma sola y salvaje, a mi nombre que todos ahuyentan.
Hemos visto arder tantas veces el lucero besándonos los ojos
y sobre nuestras cabezas destorcerse los crepúsculos en abanicos girantes.
Mis palabras llovieron sobre ti acariciándote.
Amé desde hace tiempo tu cuerpo de nácar soleado.
Hasta te creo dueña del universo.
Te traeré de las montañas flores alegres, copihues,
avellanas oscuras, y cestas silvestres de besos.
Quiero hacer contigo
lo que la primavera hace con los cerezos.
Love Sonnet XVII
from 100 Love Sonnets (Cien sonetos de amor)
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de chaveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.
Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de si, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que acendio de la tierra.
Te amo sin saber como, ni cuando, ni de donde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
asi te amo porque no se amar de otra manera,
sino asi de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mia,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.