mediating desire + distance

Longing we say, because desire is full of endless distances
Robert Hass
In a poem called “Meditation at Lagunitas,” the poet Robert Hass writes: “Longing, we say, because desire is full / of endless distances.” The simultaneously terrible and wonderful property of desire is that the intensity of feeling derives not from the fulfillment but from the imminence of deprivation. The distance gives definition to the desire and provides the pleasure of fantasizing about it by indefinitely delaying consummation; the bridging of that distance would cause the green light to lose its ethereal luster and dim to ordinariness.

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