I know my work will fall short in ways too numerous to count, but my faith in fiction was always greater than my own ambition. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, the color of my skin and my rather peculiar background as an Ethiopian immigrant delineated the border of my life and friendships. I learned quickly how to stand alone. That loneliness was broken daily with the novels I read, often on the weekends in a diner with cheap coffee and a pack of cigarettes. My frustration and sometimes hatred of the world was treated; it was mended slowly with each leap into a foreign world, whether it was of Faulkner’s or Emily Dickinson’s making.
I came to writing as a supplicant, out of debt and gratitude. If it was necessary, under some dramatic form of duress, to state what the value of literature, or the novel is, I would most likely recite that passage from Salih, not because I’m certain those sentiments are true, but because like the narrator I come to books hoping to find that they just might be.
"How Novels Widen Your Vision"
Poly relationships are as varied as the people who have them. Among those who call themselves polyamorous, there are philosophers and charlatans, the promiscuous and the celibate, the emotional and the empty. It’s an umbrella term, broadly defined as non-traditional because it asserts that love, like fine clothing, must be tailored to its owner.
But the difference is deeper than that. Some of the most callous dismissals have come from critics overly focused on sex. But that’s secondary. At its heart, polyamory is a dialogue about what the word “love” means, what is at the core of that feeling, how we feel it, and how we show it. It is a diversity of arrangements, all with their own restrictions and allowances, custom designed for partners unwilling or unable to fit into long-term, traditional monogamy.
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Our lives are a series of discrete points, and while we may see the broadest semblance of a story in them, there is always a fear of blind spots, of self-interest confused with self-awareness. So love, at its best, is a witness. It is another entity, who sees not some but every point of our being, and by watching grants us surer continuity. This is the lure of consuming love, and the reason why, alone, it is difficult to reconstruct in scattered images.
"On the Kinds of Love We Fall Into: Polyamory in Theory and Practice," Emmett Rensin