Tuesday, August 23


"There is no accounting for tastes," the old saying goes; the same is true of love. There are no rules. Attraction is a composite whose nature is subtle and different in every case. It is made up of animal humors and spiritual archetypes, of childhood experiences and the phantoms that people our dreams. Love is not a desire for beauty; it is a yearning for completion. Potions and spells have been a traditional explanation of the strange, involuntary nature of amorous attraction. All peoples have legends about this kind of magic... Although the idea that love is a magic lasso that literally captures the will of the lover goes very far back in time, it is an idea that still lives: love is a magic spell, and the attraction that unites the lovers is a bewitchment. What is extraordinary is that this belief coexists with its opposite: love is born of a free decision, the voluntary acceptance of fate.

-- Octavio Paz The Double Flame
Translated by Helen Lane