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The question is: how to love?
You don’t know a thing unless you are perceiving it. This isn’t an epistemological statement—you are not meant to take this and run round-and-round in the solipsist death spiral. “My perceptions are necessarily imperfect,” you are not supposed to say, “ergo I cannot know anything.”
This is a statement about all those things that you actually do know, and act on, and use to make your self. It is a fact about those things.
When someone asks, “do you love me?” and you do, you don’t say, “I believe so.” Love isn’t a thing you believe, so it’s never a thing whose existence you can assert or prove. Love is a verb. It is a thing we do. It is a thing we have to build every day, with our words and with our tongues. It is not an easy thing, and it is fragile. This fragility is not the opposite of strength; like all fragile things, love is unbelievably strong.
I have hurt everyone I loved, some way, some how. And I have been hurt by them. These are the best relationships, the absolute strongest ones I hold. The love there is palpable, perceived, known.
You will hurt people; you will be hurt. I have hurt people; I have been hurt; I have hurt myself. These are words to hold onto, because without exception they are true.
Pause for a moment. Enter this place: You’re sitting in a stranger’s living room. You don’t know anyone else there, and they’re talking, and you can’t understand their words. You were not invited here—perhaps you are a ghost. The question is: what do you do?