May 26, 2002

absolute vulnerability

If you have ever loved this way--the way Cixous describes--you know that you have. In other words, if you don't know that you have, then you haven't.

Her words unwrap a gift in me, and I say yes, that is just what it's like. In love, we surrender our vulnerability, an offering to the other, the one we love. This, says Cixous, puts us at risk and removes risk from us all at once. Consider that. It's not until we are fully exposed that we can love the other. And in that full disclosure, we risk everything, including the other's love for us. Absolute vulnerability. No wonder.

Let me let her tell you....

"In the face of love we disarm ourselves, and indeed we keep the vulnerability. It does not disappear, but it is offered to the other. With the person we love, we have a relationship of absolute vulnerability. Why? First of all because we think they will do no harm to us at the same time we think and we have the experience that they are the only person who can do all the harm in the world to us. Through death: either by dying or killing us, that is to say abandoning us. But also, and this is the childlike and magical side of love, we think that the person who can kill us is the person who, because she loves us, will not kill us. And at the same time we do not believe it. In love we know we are at the greatest risk and at the least great risk at the same time."