Falling in Love

Tomber amoureux. To fall in love.  Does it occur suddenly or gradually?  If gradually, when is the moment “already”?  I would fall in love with a monkey made of rags.  With a plywood squirrel.  With a botanical atlas.  With an oriole.  With a ferret.  With a marten in a picture.  With the forest one sees to the right when riding in a cart to Jaszuny.  With a poem by a little-known poet.  With human beings whose names still move me.  And always the object of love was enveloped in erotic fantasy or was submitted, as in Stendhal, to a “cristallisation,” so it is frightful to think of that object as it was, naked among the naked things, and of the fairy tales about it one invents.  Yes, I was often in love with something or someone.  Yet falling in love is not the same as being able to love.  That is something different (81).

Czeslaw Milosz