Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Sunday, 22 May 2016



Don't say that you love me.
From you it's just a made-up phrase,
words waiting to be defined
and not ready for use:
you've not earned the right to use them.

You tried to force the key and
it's broken the lock
and where are we going to get a locksmith
at this time of night?

25 June 1989
The danger with reading poems chronologically as we have been doing for the last eighteen months is that it’s tempting to read into the poems. Sometimes a line will jump out at me while I’m watching TV and the next thing I know I’ve a poem dangling from it that follows on naturally from that first line but really has nothing to do with what’s going on in my life. I loved F. and I still do. It doesn’t matter that I’ve not seen her in over twenty years and we’ve both remarried. Of course I love Carrie who I’ve been with for nineteen years and you’re not supposed to be able to be in love with more than one person at a time but I’ve always had a problem with that. None of the other loves impose that restriction on you. Hate certainly doesn’t or envy so what’s so special about in-love-ness?


Kass said...

Even without proximity to another, we get to keep the love we feel (and in my case, turn it into a story that is deeply dramatic and pseudo-meaningful.

Jim Murdoch said...

Yeah, Kass, I used to believe in one true love but not any more. I used to think love so important too that it was the worst thing in the world not to be loved but it’s all a matter of degree. If I have a hundred good friends—fat chance!—but no wife or lover would that be such a bad thing? Friendship is a form of love (philia) but what are the ratios? Is eros better than philia or storge? The psychoanalyst Erich Fromm said that we expend too much energy on “falling in love” and need to learn more how to “stand in love.” I suspect this is the kind of love Carrie and I share now, mature love, what the Greeks know as pragma. It’s not how I would’ve put it but I get it. Romantic love is all about attaining. What’s next? Maintaining. Very different ballgame.

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