A primordial merged state of bliss
back when loneliness didn’t exist.
I’ve dreamt of that balm
like the calm of my mom.
You remind me of it with your kiss.

I love this compassionate opening paragraph in Alain de Botton’s book “Status Anxiety”:

“Every life could be said to be defined by two great love stories. The first —the story of our quest for sexual love — is well known and well charted. Its vagaries form the staple of music and literature; it is socially accepted and celebrated. The second — the story of our quest for love from the world — is a more secret and shameful tale. If mentioned, it tends to be in caustic, mocking terms, as something of interest chiefly to envious or deficient souls, or else the drive for status is interpreted in an economic sense alone. And yet this second love story is no less intense than the first, it is no less complicated, important, or universal, and its setbacks are no less painful. There is heartbreak here, too.”

Mind Readers Dictionary: The Podfast : Play in Popup

Mind Readers Dictionary : Play in Popup


I begin to wonder whether parents get irritated with their children because kids, unpracticed in veiling their vanity, embarrass us. Also, I notice that romantic love is often a proxy for love from the world.

Years ago, I drafted this outline for a romanti-skeptical book of love in five chapters:

Chapter 1: Character aspiration. We aspire to see ourselves reflected in a beautiful person’s eyes.

Chapter 2: Character affirmation. We find someone who gazes upon us affirmingly.

Chapter 3: Character assignation. To strengthen the affirmation, we assign to this person great credibility. We subscribe wholly to this person’s sound judgment and authority.

Chapter 4: Character assassination. As this person gets to know us, he or she finds it more difficult to simply affirm us. In the extreme, this person breaks from us, condemning our faults (and credibly so, because we have already subscribed to his or her authority).

Chapter 5: Character extrication: Half of love lost is loss of self-respect. We’ve already assigned authority to a person who loved us, and now he or she doesn’t. How does one go cold turkey on this affirmation? Either they’re right and we’re bad, or they’re wrong and we have to admit we made a mistake in subscribing to them. Either way, it is difficult.