say yes to everything

“Love has two affirmations. First of all, when the lover encounters the other, there is an immediate affirmation (psychologically: dazzlement, enthusiasm, exaltation, mad projection of a fulfilled future: I am devoured by desire, the impulse to be happy): I say yes to everything (blinding myself). There follows a long tunnel: my first yes is riddled by doubts, love’s value is ceaselessly threatened by deprecation: this is the moment of melancholy passion, the rising of resentment and of oblation. Yet I can emerge from this tunnel; I can ‘surmount’ without liquidating; what I have affirmed a first time, I can once again affirm, without repeating it, for then what I affirm is the affirmation, not its contingency: I affirm the first encounter in its difference, I desire its return, not its repetition. I say to the other (old or new): Let us begin again.

(Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discource: fragments, trans. Richard Howard, p.24.)

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