If we knew our worth we would spend more days alone. Instead, like hopeless romantics we accept everyone in order to fall in love. However, it may be best to spend those nights alone rather than with someone unable to unmask us.
We are always wearing masks, and love as James Baldwin says, “Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.” Henry Miller writes to Hoki Tokuda expressing, with much beauty and intensity, his love and need for them to be together. Through these letters Henry Miller speaks on the desire to be unmasked and exist within the chaos of love–saying:
Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos. From the beginning it was never anything but chaos; it was a fluid which enveloped me, which I breathed in through the gills. In the subtrata, where the moon shone steady and opaque, it was smooth and fecundating above it was a jungle and a discord. In everything, I quickly saw the opposite, the contradiction, and between the real and the unreal the irony, the paradox. I was my own worst enemy. There was nothing I wished to do which I could just as well not do. Even as a child, when I lacked for nothing, I wanted to die; I wanted to surrender because I saw no sense in struggling.
Tonight you looked more beautiful than ever. Every time I look at you I wonder are you happy or sad. Always there is the mask. But sometimes I think I can see behind the mask–like Alice stepping through the mirror. I would love to fall in love with you, but I know that you are only in love with love. God bless you!
Through the intimacy of conversation Henry glimpse into Hoki’s soul, and it didn’t take him long to realize that he wanted this woman. She would become his fifth wife, and its always strange that lovers fade into the recesses of our memories while strangers suddenly come and fill their place. This is why I believe in accepting endings and embracing new beginnings, for holding onto dead stems only prevents us from watering new seeds. Love may recover our hearts, if done maturely and healthy, but only through the recognition of sorrow and sadness do we make a journey to a flourishing love. Henry Miller speaks on our need to surrender, to forgive, and to love saying:
When you surrender, the problem ceases to exist. Try to solve it, or conquer it, and you only set up more resistance. I am very certain now that… if I truly become what I wish to be, the burden will fall away. The most difficult thing to admit, and to realize with one’s whole being, is that you alone control nothing. To withhold it then is a crime.
But to nurse them along is a worse crime. And there is where much of the conflict centers, about that point. Here the subtle temptations, the vicious and insidious ones, because so confused and entangled, enter in.
On this so-called human plane it is the ego which commands — often in the most amazing disguises. The temptation to be good, to do good, gets us all some time or other. It’s the last ruse, I feel, of the ego.
Henry Miller loves with admirable bravery, and he teaches us to stand by the truths contained in our hearts. He shows that spending time together is the key to a long-lasting love saying:
Giving and receiving are at bottom one thing, dependent upon whether one lives open or closed. Living openly one becomes a medium, a transmitter; living thus, as a river, one experiences life to the full, flows along with the current of life, and dies in order to live again as an ocean. It’s good to be just plain happy, it’s a little better to know that you’re happy; but to understand that you’re happy and to know why and how … and still be happy, be happy in the being and the knowing, well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss. If I gave you a sleepless night, and myself as well, it was because it was one of the very rare times in my life that I had to sleep beside a woman without touching her. When dawn came I was at least able to gaze at your countenance.
Apparently, their marriage remained unconsummated physically, a fact she broadcast in Japanese gossip rags, much to his disgust. As Miller learned with a vengeance, some Japanese never speak of love.
Henry Miller On Love provide us with the knowledge to know that love sometimes ends in heartbreak. Continue reading about the necessity of creativity to survive in the world.
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