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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Nothing else worth writing about

"I should be afraid to write about love, because I have seen the terrible things it can do to you, but I have set out upon the path and I cannot turn back now. Especially now when I begin to learn what it means, the height and the depth of it, the terror, the deep peace, the joy. No, there is nothing else worth writing about. What are all our lives about, what are we looking for, what do we want of each other? There is not one of us who has not gone thru the first stags of love and found them so enchanting that never in our lives can we go further. Always we want to stand in that first light, that first fullness of life and let it possess us utterly. And when love would take us on thru the darkness which is light-unutterable, we are blind and can go no further. We hold back.We clutch at our memory, our own understanding of love and refuse to be taught.
But we had better look out! There are two dangers. We either fall into a snare of pleasure-sink into the immanence of love or we presume, we fly to high-and in our confusion get lost in the transcendence of love...We pray for love. We get it, and it comes in strange forms and ways, and we are likely to pass it by in pride or find ourselves grasping phantoms.
There is no end to the folly of love. We had better not presume to ask for love. God may take us at our word. We will not know what is happening to us. If only we did not struggle. If only we did not make a move. We throw our own perverse wills into the balance and there are strange results in this search for love. You see it everywhere, on Broadway and 42nd St. Love, sex, pleasure, tenderness, fellowship, light, warmth, satiety-it is all so bound up together even on that low level. Or you might go still lower and find it in the teen-age gangs, the neighborhood clubs, the brothels, the lust for money, to get women, to get love.
It is sad-it is horrible, but it is not o be despised. Should we hate and judge our brothers-we who also want love? Even in the perversity, so openly spoken of today, there too is the search for love. When we search for love in creatures, when we turn from God to creatures instead of seeking God thru creatures, then all is perversity. There is not natural love, or unnatural love, not human sin, or inhuman sin, as people try to flatter themselves. "Me, I'm just human! I'm not a pervert."
We are all a perverse and stiffnecked generation. Oh, if God would only compel us to lie quiet, to know that underneath are the everlasting arms."

Undated mediation on love found in one of Day's notebooks
Related on page 363 of 'Dorothy Day, A Biography' by William D. Miller