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Love as a sign of the zodiac

Monday, August 28, 2017

Thanks to her I confronted my inner self for the first time as my ninetieth year went by. I discovered that my obsession for having each thing in the right place, each subject at the right time, each word in the right style, was not the well-deserved reward of an ordered mind but just the opposite: a complete system of pretense invented by me to hide the disorder of my nature.

I discovered that I am not disciplined out of virtue but as a reaction to my negligence, that I appear generous in order to conceal my meanness, that I pass myself off as prudent because I am evil-minded, that I am conciliatory in order not to succumb to my repressed rage, that I am punctual only to hide how little I care about other people’s time. I learned, in short, that love is not a condition of the spirit but a sign of the zodiac.

—Gabriel García Márquez
—from Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2014)

The final sentence puzzles me. I am not quite 90, but I see myself in these words.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MARCIALS51
    It is kind of scary how some of the words sound like me. Interesting blogs from you. Thank you.
    1381 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14456645
    emoticon can't say as I understand the quote, but do understand the profound inner strong feelings that arise because of life experience ~ love is perhaps the strongest of all... it is written of through the ages, so can understand why it is included in the zodiac? dunno....
    1382 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5900706
    Beautiful. Conversely, last line might mean that, if the zodiac traits are taken seriously, love is an inborn trait determined by the zodiac, not a passing condition. Getting this from the woman he loves (?) forcing him to confront his inner self. Haven't read this and I should! Don't know what difference it might make, but I'm assuming this was originally written in Spanish?
    1384 days ago
  • SUNNYCALIGIRL
    It puzzles me as well, perhaps it makes more sense when read in the context of the book. I have read several of his novels, and love them. I was introduced to G.G-M, by an elderly woman named Dorothy who attended community college, when I was in my early 20s, I may have even first met her when I was 19!. She also referred me to Pablo Neruda, but I have not really read this poet yet. 100 Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, another one.

    Thank you for sharing.
    1384 days ago
  • _RAMONA
    I find the last line very puzzling, too... unless... in the manner of the immediately previous examples, he is implying that love is not real but simply a banal social construct, a polite facade that one puts forth to hide feelings/reality/passion less noble (much like declaring romantic compatibility along zodiac lines). "?"

    This especially speaks to me:
    "I discovered that my [perfectionism] was not the well-deserved reward of an ordered mind but just the opposite: a complete system of pretense invented by me to hide the disorder of my nature."

    I am grateful to have grown beyond this place, for the most part. When I get overwhelmed, I still tend to revert. As for the rest, for better or ill, my heart runs rampant for all to see... often too much, I'm afraid. Sigh.

    Thank you for sharing. You made me very curious abut this writer's work. I'l have to look some up.
    emoticon
    1384 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/28/2017 5:22:20 PM
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