If You Forget Me

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Pablo Neruda

“My father is not given to outward displays of affection, and seems to regard hugs and kisses as needless and flamboyant affectation. He is of a generation for which this lack of physical warmth and intimacy is considered normal and manly; it is as if a society sandwiched between two world wars has unconsciously attempted to create a race of Spartans, inured to the hardships and emotional sacrifices of wartime. Anything that veers from this norm is considered sissified and effeminate; we don’t cry, we don’t run into each other’s arms, and kissing only happens in the movies. My father is neither cruel nor sadistic, but he is the product of his generation; he is a good man who loves us profoundly in his heart but does not know how to show it; he is like a prisoner in an iron mask, increasingly sullen, desolate and utterly trapped.”

Sting – from his memoir Broken Music

“Love all God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand of it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.”

– Fyodor Dostoyevsky, “The Brothers Karamazov”