On authorship - Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes

Recognizing love (10/9/00) - an extract



"I was on the train today on my way to church. Sitting opposite was this Eurasian family - mother, older son, younger son, father, in that order.

The younger son was feeling tired; he plopped himself down on his father's lap such that his face was upturned towards him.

He just looked at his father, and his father, a stern, big Eurasian man, just looked back at him, their noses just inches apart.

Slowly, a smile spread on his father's face. It was an unconscious smile, so warm, so full of love and light. He smiled back, their eyes locked together, and his father reached out and tweaked his nose, ruffled his hair lovingly.

Love, such a simple yet complex thing. There is no clear definition for it; we can only know it when we've experienced it; only then can we come to recognize it.

All the times I spent gazing at his face, drawing a finger across his eyebrows, his cheeks, his lips.

Having been in love teaches you to recognize it. It teaches you to treasure love, to understand how precious it is...."

- the Author


Diary extract