I made a mix CD today and remembered something. I was front row centre at a Patti Smith show, her first after her husband Fred’s death. She started to play a song for him, just her on acoustic guitar, but she fumbled and stopped. Looking somewhere past the audience, she quoted Fred to herself: “Clarity, Patricia.” Then she started the song again.
This is, I think, an inkling of love at its best: a close observation of an endearing flaw, noticed with encouragement and deep affection, and premised on an absolute faith in the promise of the one who is loved. You have to know the tiniest bones of a person to have this, and, at the same time, to admire them as something different and apart from yourself.
I wonder if I could love someone I didn’t admire in this way? And why I always wonder about such things when I’m terribly tired?