I love this Sappho poem of pure jealousy. I love the “kindled the flesh along my arms/ and smothered me in its smoke-blind rush.” I think I like poems and literature that celebrate the worst parts of our beings.
Maybe I say that because I have been reading this book, Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection, a book recommended by a meditation instructor--and the basic premise of the book is that love is a verb. It’s not something you simply emanate, like a yogi from a cave. Rather you have to practice it in both small and big ways. The book suggests that you engage people wherever you go—the drug store, the post office, the hair dresser, the sidewalk. Just imagine all the opportunities for micro-moments of love.
But I thought, what the hell. I might as well try it out. So I did just that, at the Y. I mean—I started gabbing with everyone in sight. I literally hate people who do that. I don’t like to chat when I work out. But I figured this was an experiment. Or a test.
I talked to one man who was recently divorced and was trying to sweat out his rage at his ex. I decided I didn’t really want to pursue that topic. So then I talked to a woman who hates her ass—okay, that was a little more interesting. And another lady who thinks the Y is some kind of preview of hell. She had a few good points to make. And then, in the swimming pool, this man started telling me how I might improve my swimming form. He said he could coach me a bit.
What is it with men? I mean, would a woman ever tell a man she would like to coach him? Seriously!
Needless to say, I was failing at achieving those micro-moment of love. Or at least I wasn’t feeling it.
And to make matters worse, the next day there were all these people trying to talk to me.
I put my headphones on and looked into the distance. I didn’t even have anything to listen to, but headphones are useful. I think of them now as a protection against any micro-moments of love.