melting & burning


The Romantic Movement – Alain de Botton
January 31, 2011, 12:12 am
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“I strip myself emotionally when I confess need – that I would be lost without you, that I am not necessarily the independent person I have tried to appear, but am a far less admirable weakling with little clue of life’s course or meaning. When I cry and tell you things I trust you will keep for yourself, that would destroy me if others were to learn of them, when I give up the game of gazing seductively at parties and admit it’s you I care about, I am stripping myself of a carefully sculpted illusion of invulnerability. I become as defenseless and trusting as the person in the circus trick, strapped to a board into which another is throwing knives to within inches of my skin, knives I have myself freely given. I allow you to see me humiliated, unsure of myself, vacillating, drained of self-confidence, hating myself and hence unable to convince you [should I need to] to do otherwise. I am weak when I have shown you my panicked face at three in the morning, anxious before existence, free of the blustering, optimistic philosophies I had proclaimed over dinner. I learn to accept the enormous risk that though I am not the confident pin-up of everyday life, though you have at hand an exhaustive catalogue of my fears and phobias, you may nevertheless love me.”

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