we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings."
— Wendell Berry
— Wendell Berry
For one thing, Romeo and Juliet wouldn’t find each other today. Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers met at a masquerade, which meant a party’s limited options and almost no information about each other, except the touch of Romeo’s hand and the heated flirtation of their words. But today’s Romeo and Juliet have a shopper’s catalogue of choices and set their search parameters to find exclusively what they’re looking for. And given the centuries-old feud between the Montagues and the Capulets, they’re not looking for each other. Perhaps Romeo, like most of the Montagues, is short; perhaps Juliet, like most of the Capulets, is a bit stout. In person, they find many types of people attractive. But with online dating, given the option to rule out the short and the stout, they do.
Which raises another question: Does a more bounded context, with fewer choices and less sense of control, help us with what the theologian William F. May calls “an openness to the unbidden?” And, even more complicated, do the greatest love affairs come from finding what we’re looking for, or from finding what we don’t know to look for — from the alchemy that flares when the unbidden happens to find us?
Full story at the Boston Globe, by Howard Axelrod.
— Christopher Knight, the ‘Last True Hermit.’
— Kurt Vonnegut
— Robin Williams
— Albert Camus, from Notebooks, 1951-1959
— Adam, Girls
— Oscar Wilde