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Love Don't Owe You Nothin'
What do we want from love?
Clearly something more than what it is.
That’s human nature probably, always wanting more. That raw feeling is like a narcotic when it hits and we get addicted to the feeling. We crave that warmth and that intensity of the first touch, the first kiss, the first laugh, the first time bodies intertwine into one.
As an artist, you’re constantly looking for ways to recreate how it feels to love. The right brushstroke, or words, or a movement of the camera, to convey that ecstatic wonder. I feel love every time I watch a Wong Kar Wai movie or hear Sade’s voice enter a song. It’s like a surge of romantic mania, how else to really quantify it.
The way Terrance Malick’s camera swirls around a woman on a swing set in The Thin Red Line feels like love. The way Jada Pinkett and Blair Underwood stay silent on the phone at the end of Set It Off does too. How do you really love someone if your silence together can’t say it all for you?
I’ve written about love for so long: in diaries and texts and letters. It’s my favorite thing to think about. How someone loves tells you everything you need to know.. how does it feel for them, how do they perform it, how do they say it, how would they want to receive it? People that try to out-tough love are phonies. Always embarrassing themselves. When Reynolds and Alma look at each other in Phantom Thread, it sets me on fire. I know that look, it’s that look of hunger and infatuation that you feel when you connect with someone else in perfect harmony.
I love love because it’s bigger than all of us. You have to humble yourself before it, otherwise it’ll never work. 112 said it, true love won’t lie. People wanna control love. Bottle it up and sell it at CVS at 90% markup, but it won’t let you. You can’t beat it, it’s undefeated.
The vibrant colors and majesty and the exaggerations of a Douglas Sirk movie do more to dramatize what love is than a relationship course could ever teach. Ask Claire Denis or Anita Baker about love not Steve Harvey. Maybe I don’t know how men think but I know love is not a negotiation. Maybe a partnership is, but love can’t be.
Love is magic, you can’t control magic.
People look to science or math to explain it to them. Some would rather let the zodiac mysticism be their guide, which is just as sensible as anything else. Psychology or sociology give the tools to handle with rationality the irrational nature of love. It’s as real as the air around us but beyond our comprehension.
And that’s what makes it special. The fact that we are nothing, being bent to its will. People want romance and when they don’t have it they blame themselves or everyone around them. In truth, there’s nothing to do but let go of the control you want in all things and allow love to sweep you in its gusts and see where you land.