'I love you, I want you, I need you unbearably.'
A Love Megamix
Valentine’s Day is upon us, so I’m sending you a Love Megamix entirely and conveniently pruned from the (extremely giftable) Letters of Note: Love book. And to those who recoil at the very thought of such a disgustingly romantic day, I send my apologies and suggest that you at least read Frida Kahlo’s words before you flee. It’s the third excerpt down.
We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each others minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted. But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.
Johnny Cash Letter to June Carter 23 Jun 1994 Letters of Note: Love
There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.
…And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.
John Steinbeck Letter to his lovesick son, Thom 10 Nov 1958 Letters of Note: Love
I’m writing to let you know I’m releasing you, I’m amputating you. Be happy and never seek me again. I don’t want to hear from you, I don’t want you to hear from me. If there is anything I’d enjoy before I die, it’d be not having to see your fucking horrible bastard face wandering around my garden.
That is all, I can now go to be chopped up in peace. Good bye from somebody who is crazy and vehemently in love with you.
Frida Kahlo (in hospital, awaiting a leg amputation) Letter to Diego Rivera 1953 Letters of Note: Love
When you were sick you worried because you could not give me something that you wanted to and thought I needed. You needn’t have worried. Just as I told you then there was no real need because I loved you in so many ways so much. And now it is clearly even more true—you can give me nothing now yet I love you so that you stand in my way of loving anyone else—but I want you to stand there. You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive.
Richard Feynman Letter to his late wife, Arline Feynman 17 Oct 1946 Letters of Note: Love
I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way.
Vita Sackville-West Letter to Virginia Woolf 22 Jan 1926 Letters of Note: Love
I recognise you in all the beauty that surrounds me—in form, in colour, in perfume, in harmonious sound: all of these mean you to me. You are superior to them all. You are not only the solar spectrum with the seven luminous colours, but the sun himself, that illumines, warms, and revivifies the whole world!
Juliette Drouet Letter to Victor Hugo 1835 Letters of Note: Love
You might think about me a bit & whether you could bear the idea of marrying me. Of course you haven’t got to decide, but think about it. I can’t advise you in my favour because I think it would be beastly for you, but think how nice it would be for me. I am restless & moody & misanthropic & lazy & have no money except what I earn and if I got ill you would starve. In fact it’s a lousy proposition.
Evelyn Waugh Letter to Laura Herbert Spring 1936 Letters of Note: Love
Whatever time it is when you read this, please know my arms are figuratively about you. So close your eyes and know that you are loved.
Dorothy Freeman Letter to Rachel Carson Dec 1963 Letters of Note: Love
I love you, I want you, I need you unbearably. Your eyes—which shine so wonder-struck when, with your head thrown back, you tell something funny—your eyes, your voice, lips, your shoulders—so light, sunny.
You came into my life—not as one comes to visit but as one comes to a kingdom where all the rivers have been waiting for your reflection, all the roads, for your steps.
Vladimir Nabokov Letter to Véra Slonim 8 Nov 1923 Letters of Note: Love
The famed affair of Heloise and Abelard is tragic to me only in that they were so chuckled-headed in spending all that time accusing themselves instead of her throwing off her veil and his stepping on out of that monastery and going about their business. People waste too much time worrying about whether an affair will last. Enjoy it while it does last and then suffer no regrets later.
Zora Neale Hurston Letter to Herbert Sheen 7 May 1953 Letters of Note: Love
I don’t know why I have to tell you this today (but I do) — perhaps it’s because when I look out into the fog all I can see is the hairs of your adorable chest. . . I love being in love with you, it makes even unhappiness seem no bigger than a pin, even at the times when I wish so violently that I could give my heart to science and be rid of it.
James Schuyler Letter to John Button Spring 1956 Letters of Note: Love
My Darling Rebecca, your most Affec letter to me was like pieces of meat to hungre wolfe
Addie Brown Letter to Rebecca Primus 24 May 1861 Letters of Note: Love