10 December 2010

On Infatuation

Experienced an immediate (although brief) infatuation with the coffee shop guy today because I admired the enthusiasm and élan he showed in taking my latte order. I used to be embarrassed about the ease and alacrity with which I develop crushes, but I've found that all forms of love (even silly infatuations) are doors to spiritual growth, since they represent a sudden seeking for something we deeply desire but didn't even realize we were missing. Like an artist obsessed with a beautiful (or ugly) face glimpsed for a moment on the subway, the fixation lasts until we identify and internalize whatever unique quality caught our mind's eye. Once the artist has successfully rendered his vision into art, made it tangible and therefore able to be possessed, the obsession lifts.

Except when it doesn't. Sometimes a face casually encountered takes on the character of a muse, propelling the artist along through sketch after sketch, each effort incomplete, capturing and possessing an aspect of the desired but never the entirety. Marriage may be the only solution for an artist or lover in this position, securing access to the beloved for eternity, which will still be an insufficient amount of time to process and absorb the many uniquenesses of the desired one.