Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the ’70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again. At her 2010 MoMa retrospective, Marina performed “The Artist Is Present” as part of the show; a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing it and this is what happened.
Says a good friend of mine, “I’d imagine this would be what my parents would tell me about each other… and what I’d tell my children about us. A quote from St. Agustine of all people. Forgive me for being sentimental – but I am here – and I am blessed. 🙂”
Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.
– St. Augustine
Incidentally, this quote is featured in the 2001 Hollywood film, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
If I may add,
Love is like finally comingfinding your way home, after having been away gone all your life.