Beautiful, I Don’t Know and Love

I’m not sure what’s beautiful, but I appreciate it. What appeals to my senses might not appeal to yours, but I can’t be certain. The attraction I find to certain figures in the world … is it the degree of uncertainty that really draws my attention? The ‘who or what’s this?’ rather than the ‘that is’? Certainty makes me less interested, perhaps, because it’s an insistent lie. I can’t be certain. I lose interest in whatever I can’t trust; and I know I can’t be certain.
        But I can trust ‘I don’t know‘, to begin with, like a strange old ladder I’ve made myself, rungs from knowing something about me, that helps me climb closer and then, maybe, I’m not so unsure. Hegel writes about the perils of mastery: you cut a flower too early and you have something, but its dead. If I feel I ever really know you, surely that’s the end? The end of a relationship is the illusion that everything’s already there, all done and dusted, like death.
        If you want a relationship that lasts, and not everybody does, and perhaps it’s a strange thing really to want something that’s going to end inevitably in one or the other of you disappearing, you have to tolerate not knowing: the thought that I can never know you, not ever, and that’s sexy.
        At the same time I need to get to know you. The fear of the getting to know you however I can, if that leaves me somehow stuck, still, always peering at as you atrophy in my mind’s eye, forever a concoction of the ‘what’ rather than the ‘who’, more a sum of the things I can apprehend as if I’m making a collage of you (your beautiful eyes, all smoky, your nose, Roman but I like Romans, your mouth, what’s that like … and so on), then I know we can’t last.
        The ‘who’, that strange sense of something more than what’s in front of us, you and me. All the you that is only there if I allow myself to get into it, the trails of associations of you in the way you talk, breathe, walk, sleep, hope and shout at me. The who of those moments so close up that neither of us can speak but only look, and sometimes it’s too much to even keep our eyes open, or it’s dark already and all I can do is feel you; can I somehow allow myself to remember you like that? All of these things, these who things call on me in ways the what’s can’t. A what is something I already understand I want in some way, to look into your eyes, perhaps.
        The who? The who is what happens after I really see you, once I stop seeing myself reflected and recognise what’s not me. You, who I shall never really know.

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