Helvetius: « On devient stupide dès que l’on cesse d’être passionné. >>


Encounters 1

She was on the side of the road in the village, close to the crossing at the monument. She had golden earrings and worn-out sandals, or slippers, and her clothes were dirty. Holding a shiny fake leather women’s wallet with a golden buckle, she jumped from one side of the concrete-lined ditch to the other. Couldn’t have been older than 8 or 9. When she saw me she started walking towards me. I opened the door of the white car.
She said: – Hi. What’s your name?
Anna. Nice wallet you’ve got there.
My mom gave it to me. But I need money to put in it. She couldn’t give me any money. She needs it for the little girl, for diapers. She couldn’t give me any. Do you have any?
Sorry. You gotta wait till you’re older and then you can work and earn it.

She had a feral look, though she was still in control. I could feel her being my equal, almost stronger, analyzing what she could see of the inside of the car, almost planning how and if there was something to grab and run off with. She was still in control but at the same time a part of her mind seemed to already be wandering off. Healthy beggars never look at you with this piercing look, like they would like to x-ray and have you all turned inside out in a few minutes, take what they need and discard the rest. If they think it, they know how to hide it. At the same time she was still a child. There was a sort of innocence in her. She did not act upon her wandering thoughts. Her eyes betrayed both sides, the innocence and the precipice.
My husband was running back towards the car with our daughter, only slightly younger than her. I pointed her out:
Look, that’s my daugther.

She looked at her feeling that her chance was gone but tried one last time.
Please give me some money for my wallet. I need money.
You’ll grow up and work and earn all the money you need.
Somehow we both knew that sounded untrue.
Look, I see you already have a few bills in there, so it’s not that bad.
She smiles like one of her secrets has been uncovered. As he approaches the car she slowly steps back looking at me disdainfully than looking away in shyness.
Who was that he asks.
A strange beggar. She didn’t want any pretzels though. Only money.
An hour later I already forgot her name.

On marriage

Susan Sontag – Reborn

„I marry Philip with full consciousness + fear of my will toward self-distructiveness. ”

„Whoever invented marriage was an ingenious tormentor. It is an institution committed to the dulling of feelings. The whole point of marriage is repetition. The best it aims for is the creation of strong, mutual dependencies. ”

„Marriage is based on the principle of inertia.

Unloving proximity.

Marriage is all private – no public – behaviour.

The glass wall that separates one couple from another.

Friendship in marriage. The smooth skin of the other.

Rilke thought the only way to keep love in marriage was by perpetual acts of separation – return.

The leakage of talk in marriage (my marriage, anyway).”

Not sure what she means by leakage of talk.

„The sense of not being free has never left me these six years.”

„That’s all there is. There isn’t any more. The quarells + the tenderness, endlessly reduplicated. Only the quarells have a greater density, diluting the capacity for tenderness.

The people handcuffed together next to a dungheap shouldn’t quarrel. It just makes the dungheap a few inches higher.”

„I know I’m not myself with people, not even Philip – from that stems the constant sense of irritation, with him, with myself. But am I myself when alone? That seems unlikely, too. ”

„In a time hollowed out by decorum, one must school oneself in spontaneity. ”

„In marriage, I have suffered a certain loss of personality – at first the loss was pleasant, easy; now it aches and stirs up my general disposition to be malcontented with a new fierceness.”


We are never spontaneous.. If there is a big lesson from all those Big Brother type reality shows, it’s that even when we are just ourselves in private life, we always play being ourselves.  And I think this is in a way a good thing. I mean when people say no, you know  — express yourself, be who you really are. Well I think most people are monsters secretly. I think — I like to live in a society where you do whatever you want. Just please don’t express yourself too much, you know. I like people who know how to control themselves. I believe in proper manners.


the endless cycle of rightness and wrongness

“We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: it’s got to be the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.”

andrew boyd