what love does (and doesn't)
some people tell me they never watch the news or read the newspaper because what goes on in the world troubles them too much. my position on this is unclear to me at the time of writing but the first thing i do everyday over coffee is read the times online, the guardian, de volkskrant and several other dutch newspapers. (i would love to include the age in the list as i used to when i lived in australia but this once venerable serious newspaper has become a joke, at least online.)
mind you some days i don't get beyond a single story in the times before i am weeping and falling down a rabbit hole where i end up reading the letter kierkegaard wrote to be opened after his death in which he bequeaths what little he had to regina and says something along the lines of that as far as he was concerned his engagement to her was a marriage and he remained faithful to her for the rest of his life, and weeping some more.
would i be better off not knowing that a 63 year old lecturer at the university of st.petersburg was arrested with a rucksack containing the arms of his 24 year old lover and that her severed head was found in his apartment?
perhaps there is a clue : maybe it's not about whether i am (or you are) better off. knowledge is a burden. some can bear it, others can't.
one of the books i held for a moment in my hand was what i know (or thought i knew) to be a translation of kierkegaard's kjerlighedens gjerninger (1847) usually translated into english as 'works of love' but for some reason this morning, in my mind's eye, what it says on the front of the book is 'what love does' — but i cannot find any trace of a book called 'what love does' by kierkegaard on the internet. i saw it several times, and read a few pages, before finally buying it in what used to be the secondhand section in the basement of the old broese bookshop on the stadhuisbrug in utrecht which was a place of magic. i would go home — or rather i would go back to the place where i was allowed to stay for a while at the time ... no wait ... it was the mad sad summer of 2018 so it was my home then even as it was rapidly slipping away — and regret not buying it. this happened several times and each time i'd go back to the shop and be relieved that it was still there — but it was expensive.
and now i realise i should have brought 'what love does' home with me (now that i have a home) instead of packing it.