"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."
I love this because it's so true. (I feel like I say that every Sunday? The greatest literature is true). When I read this, I can hear my therapist saying it. We talk about feelings and he always says (with the brilliant sarcasm of a therapist), "but do you really want to feel? If you feel, you will get hurt very very deeply. Unbelievable hurt. Is it worth it?" And then I get to argue that feeling is important, because it makes life richer. There's something a tad funny about me arguing that, because, God knows, feelings really aren't my forte. I'm semi-pro at steeling myself, which is a lovely short term strategy, but a shitty long term one. But I think that feelings, especially love, make life richer and beautiful and worthwhile. Accomplishments aren't worth shit, but relationships really matter. One of my deepest fears is that I live to accomplish not to love. I would hope I measure my life not in successes but in love. Because even though love leads inevitably to heartbreak, without it, life is meaningless, "a difficult birth astride of a grave".