The hardest thing is writing about love. Many great writers shy away from telling sex scenes. They confess that it scares them because they associate it with cheap literature. I do not agree, sex can be described in many ways; from the feeling, from the physiognomy or directly from pornography. Love is much more delicate and dangerous. When you write about love it’s easy to fall for that light literature how scared they are.
It costs because while you do it you have to open up the channel. It does not matter if it is fiction or a personal text. You must tell a truth, if not, the imposture flourishes between the words to give you away. You are always what you tell, what you write, what you tell. Knowing how to love is not easy and it is right there where you find your reflection.
Love is very different from falling in love. When you fall in love, you mythologize that person, you strip her of all her defects until she becomes a kind of demiurge, someone unreal. I fall in love with many people; with my friends, with my friends, with my children… I am so in love with the people I love that it is hard for me to find any imperfection.
The difference between true love and infatuation is supposed to be that the latter is an epidermal feeling. Ortega y Gasset distinguished them thus, the first is deep and mystical (love) and the other, more superficial, which he defined as a “state of mental misery, of transitory imbecility” (falling in love).
The philosopher from Madrid thus refuted Stendhal and his Theory of Crystallization, who argued that love is a mere hallucinatory process by which we idealize the person we love and project impossible perfections onto them. For Ortega y Gasset, Stendhal had no idea what it really is to love.
In order to Ortega y Gasset, love is incompatible with imposture (“as you are, that is how you love”) and that feeling does not vary even though the other is far away (“not even a hundred leagues away”): “It can diminish until it becomes a very fine thread that it unites and that in the reunion it returns to its original size ».
I know the theory, although I also recognize, as I say, that in my deep loves there is also infatuation, that idealization, that mythification. I never needed to learn to love, as Erich Fromm argues. For the German, love is an art like any other and you have to learn it. Loving is very difficult, as complicated as playing the violin.
In that learning, he says, the most important thing is how you love. No matter how they love you, you are how you love. And in that place it is essential to love yourself. You cannot love others if you don’t love yourself first. That is why selfishness is incompatible with love, because the selfish neither love nor love each other; they move from hatred.
I don’t know how to play the violin, but I love myself with all the consequences. I love, they love me and I live permanently in love. Crystallized whole. I don’t know how to feel otherwise.