Talk to me #3: Margot Berwin

Jan 11, 2016 by

Talk to me #3: Margot Berwin

Where you learned to love. I think we are love. We’re born as loving beings. I don’t think it’s something we learn, I think it’s something we start out with but unfortunately we lose it along the way. As society and our families interfere, we lose touch with our essence, which is love. The luckiest of us get it back at some point while we are still alive through lots of spiritual work. The majority realize their true nature at the moment of the death transition.

Your first cut – was it the deepest? I didn’t fall in love until I was in my twenties. I had a lot of major infatuations as a teenager and most of them were painful at some point, but as for real love, well he was 48 and I was 24 and I wrote my first book about him called NO PROTECTION. That one HURT. The book was never published. That one hurt, too.

Your love who got away. I think things happen as they’re supposed to, but looking back there were a few good men who I should have stayed with. At this point in time I realize that I could probably love almost anyone. I spent too long looking for that love high. Now I’m just looking for that love medium.

Your “type” – and why. Used to be loud, brash, narcissists. Now it’s quiet, brilliant nerds. 

Your favourite literary romance. The Lover. Marguerite Duras.  

Your thoughts on friends being lovers. Funny you should ask. I’ve tried that twice in the last year. Nope and nope.  For me it has to start as lovers.

 Your thoughts on the net amounts of pleasure and pain. In the big picture of the relationship there has got to be more pleasure than pain. I’ve had a few relationships where there was much more, even all, pain. When I think about them now I can see that I was either trying to work out a childhood problem, or it was an endless power struggle that we both wanted to win. So not fun. 

Your story about unrequited love. I dated a man once who thought that the way to keep a woman was to keep the relationship forever unrequited in small ways. If he found out what I liked, sexually or otherwise, he would take it away so that I would forever crave it from him. The entire time I was with him felt unrequited. Actually that one was a relief when it was over.

Your favourite author/artist on love. I like Rilke and Duras for their writing on young love. I like Oscar Wilde’s quote “The heart was made to be broken.” I think that’s so true. Love can only begin after the heart’s been broken. Maybe more than once. For me, people who never let their heart be broken are the saddest people.

I like some things by Roald Dahl and Mark Twain.

There are so many great artists when it comes to love.

I LOVE Van Gogh because his paintings, especially starry night, were about energy and I think love is an exchange of energy. Physicists are now saying that “Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece explains the scientific mysteries of movement and light.” And that “The Starry Night” sheds light on the concept of turbulent flow in fluid dynamics, one of the most complex ideas to explain mathematically and among the hardest for the human mind to grasp.” Wow…that makes me wet! Check it out on TED-Ed

Your reconciliation of the domestic and the erotic. I used to only want the erotic. Nothing else. I honed my skills. I lived for that and I thought that was the highest form of human connectivity. Now I want the domestic-probably because I’ve so rarely had it. If the erotic happens once in a while, that’s great. But the balance I am looking for is now tipped in a different direction. But who knows. That could change again.

Your thoughts on marriage. I was married for a while and I enjoyed it very much. 

Love changes when you have children. I didn’t have children, much to my dismay. But yes, I think it does. Definitely in America where children are placed before spouses, which can harm intimacy. In Europe the picture looks a bit different and I think they are better at keeping intimacy intact after children.

Your thoughts on resisting temptation. I date a lot. If I don’t feel ignited by the person, absolutely lit up, I don’t get involved. That way I never have to cheat. I get involved only when I have no choice.

Your advice on breaking up. None. I’ve done it many ways and I’ve had it done to me many ways. None of them, no matter how good the intention, were pleasant.  

Your lessons from love. Maya Angelou says, “Never treat someone like a priority, when they treat you like an option.” 

Your greatest regret in love. See above.

Your thoughts on infidelity – one night stand, fling, or affair. They never remain a secret.

Everyone gets hurt.

There’s always a reason they happen beyond the stated reason.

They’re incredibly hot. 

I’m not a cheater, but I have slept with married people. If it has to happen I’d rather be the one sleeping with the married person than the married person who is cheating. That said, all of that was in my youth and I doubt, no I definitely would not, sleep with a married person now.

Your feelings about the existence of a soulmate. It happens. But I feel that what most people call a soulmate is when their neurosis meshes well with the neurosis of the other person. When you’ve had enough therapy and you’re beyond childhood pain, finding love becomes more difficult because it isn’t based on mutually understood problems. Or caretaking. It’s more difficult to find love when you don’t actually need someone – you simply want someone.

Your ideal love: madness or redemption? Madness … of the good kind. 

Your advice on making love last. Stick with it and don’t leave it. Then it lasts. Lol.

Margot Berwin is the author of Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire and Scent of Darkness.

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