Joan Didion and her husband in their Malibu home

Joan Didion and her husband in their Malibu home

Longing for a life that is so full it overspills. That is filled to the brim, of pain, of goodbyes, of glee and welcomes. I Imagine it like Joan Didion’s house in Malibu, where she would host dinner parties wearing embroidered yellow kaftans, while flirting with Warren Beaty, with her husband looking at them from across the room, with sweet eyes, amused. Longing for a place that many people, not just those who slumber inside it, like to call home. Where the wine is crimson, plentiful and cheap and where there are always cold Coca-Colas in the fridge on balmy end-of-summer afternoons. Longing for yellow sunflowers on a terrace that awaken to the sound of the waves hitting the sand, flowers that salute the shrieks of the ocean and the bright hums of the sun with their unassuming stature.  Longing for abundant, wooden, flimsy bookshelves filled with blue pen marks hidden, like scattered, forgotten treasures, inside all the books. Longing for friends who don’t pretend to be all groovy or wise, longing for fiction sugared with truth. Longing for a freezing cold breeze in a June in San Francisco, that reminds you of Mark Twain. Longing for imperfect dancing, loose limbs, and glistening foreheads swaying to the rhythm of a nameless song. 

Longing is a funny thing, a condition needed, begged, called by the act of creating. Without longing there would be no writing, there would be no movies, there would be no folk or no sonnets. Longing is what makes you look and pay attention, is what makes your heart turn on when you read something that appeals to you so much that you ought to stop reading it because the beauty in the yearning seems too strong to bare. It is what makes you remember the ending of The Searchers or the opening of the first novel that marked you as an adolescent. Without longing, you are simply not invited to read in between the lines, to create poetry from the things you see and read, without longing art is devoid of meaning. But what the hell is longing? A burn, an ache, an itch, a thirst, a lust, a need, a feel, a must. Whatever you want to call it, we have all felt it, if not with art, then with it all. Longing is weaved throughout the whole pattern of what it means to be human. A burn, an ache, an itch, a thirst, a lust, a need, a feel, a must. You have felt it the day after you say goodbye to your lover at the train station, holding on to the memories of them by the knots that have moved into your throat. Or the day you suddenly spot, while looking at the mountains through an airplane window, that peculiar green of the lawn you grew up playing in.  Or the day you smell your mother’s perfume, years after she’s gone while passing by an inconspicuous store at a random mall, in a random city, in a random work trip. We are all natural yearners as it is a neutral state in its essence, it's a grey feeling.  It is an emotion that simply exists, I am not sure how many of those there are, or if none do at all.

I want you to know who is writing, so there is no doubt that the person typing this is one who has lived their life in a permeant state of longing. A sense that has led me to misplace all my faith on the patterns of the human endeavor, separating me from myself, from the most essential, suffocated. But also, a sense that has brought me moments of a life that feels so whole, a life that feels guided by a lonesome, yearning sun in a bleak sky. A sun that shines and shows that if you long, if you constantly pursue the burn, the ache, the itch, the thirst, the lust, the need, the feel, the must, there shall always be more. Longing carves out, with the sharpness of its silent power, a life so full, it overspills.