Longing to Long

Last time, when I mentioned I was writing a love story, one of my commenters (thanks, Sarah W!) made a very interesting point about the place of longing in a love story.

She wrote “Durrell’s work reminds me of Rumi’s poetry — they both seem to believe that the truest love, eros or erotic, is in the longing, and the prolonging of that longing . . .”

And apologies to my husband who is a cutie and a sweetie (mostly) but, frankly, I do not walk around town in an exquisite state of longing. I’m a married woman, fully conscious that the fish I hooked is pretty damn good.

So how does a middle-aged, married novelist get in that mode? That longing state of mind that is based solely on imagination. Because, face it, in our daily lives, children, laundry,making a living and just trying to get a good night sleep, fill all that time needed for exquisite yearning.

Now my 12-year-old daughter would be a perfect longinger. She melts around the house, especially on school mornings. She glides upstairs in a dreamy state, gazes in the mirror, her mind floating on vast superior and romantic thoughts than her mother who is at the foot of the stairs, in a stained bathrobe, screeching that said daughter has one minute to get out the door before she is officially late.

So I’m trying to learn how to float again. To long. When I get everyone off to where they are supposed to be, I close the door and float to my desk and try to think longingly. I hold an imaginary daisy and silently pluck: does she love him, does she not, does he love her, does he not…

Of course, the exquisite slab of dark chocolate I unwrap is very helpful too.

For Ten of the Most Famous Love Stories click here.

photo by RellyAB (flickr)


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2 responses to “Longing to Long

  1. It isn’t always easy, I think, to remember back before husbands and kids and contentment. But it’s still there, somewhere . . .

    Of course, I find the longing for sleep to be a very powerful force . . . And chocolate, too, of course. 😉

  2. I can sneak up on longing by visiting nature – up close. I grab a magnifying glass an head to the garden for a little while. Something about a leaf with dew up close…or an ant watching you back. An ache for wonder sometimes sparks longing. Put some dark chocolate in your pocket. 🙂

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