Packing up my life. And moving I'm not sure where. When I come to my section on books on love, I hesitate, should I pack them all, or carry some with me? Here's Chopra's, Path to Love, and Ackerman & Mackin's massive anthology of love letters, poems, fiction, essays, memoirs, The Book of Love, and the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh's, Teachings on Love, and Joudry's & Pressman's, Twin Souls, and Roman's, Soul Love, and Gurian's, Love's Journey, and an unauthoured collection, One Hundred & One Classic Love Poems, among too many to mention. I decide on John Gray's, Handbook for the Heart, with beautiful essays in it, and Sarah Bartlett's, Mythical Lovers, Divine Desires, which I haven't fully read yet, and carefully slide the rest into a box.
Ah, then my books on tantra, how many are there, two dozen? Lots of art books on mandalas and yantras and academic books on tantric art and tantric thought. But there's this, Tibetan Arts of Love: Sex, Orgasm & Spiritual Healing, yes, Gedun Chopel, it is brilliant. Or the large and cross-disciplinary, Sacred Sexuality by Mann & Lyle, a lovely book with many illustrations from art history, and of course, The Complete Kama Sutra, Danielou's translation, no tantric collection would be complete without that, and California Tantrism, The Art of Sexual Magic by Margo Anand, or a Dorling Kindersley picture book of photographs of lovers, The Art of Tantric Sex, and books on full body massages...
I leave you with a photograph of a fun tarot deck: Tarot Sutra, games for lovers, which I've never used, sigh, it's in its original wrapping.
For me, romantic love combines of the erotic and the spiritual, the emotional and the intellectual, of eros and philia and agape, where there is meaning, wholeness, an intimacy with spirit, ourselves, our lovers, each other. (The other two great loves are differently configured: parental love, and I guess married love; but both, ideally, are weighted in philia, or friendship, being together on the path.)
I think I really do like the word, intimate, intimacy, intimacies... and perhaps can spend the rest of the day packing up my life, feeling my way through an aesthetic of intimacy.