Now, reason, says love, understand your demand. He that burns feels no cold, just as he who has drowned feels no thirst. And this soul, says love, is so burnt in the furnace of the fire of love that she has become fire, she feels fire no longer because she herself is fire, by the virtue of the love that that has brought her into him, that fine love. This fire burns from him, in him, in all places and moments of time, without taking any matter of will into its substance, except from himself. For whoever feels anything of God, by matter that he sees or hears outside him, or for labour that he does by himself, it is not this fire, but this fire with matter mixed into its substance. For the labour of man, and the desire to have matter outside themselves to increase their love, this is but a shadow or glimmer of the knowledge of the bounty of God. They that burn with this aforesaid fire, without seeking matter to have or to will, see so clearly in all things that they praise them as they deserve to be praised, for these souls have no matter in them which might blemish their clear sight.Marguerite Porete, The Mirror of Simple Souls
(translation mine, from the Middle English)
What I’ve accomplished. Perhaps nothing. Impossible to write, even poems, when you feel no distance from anything. (Least of all, from yourself—closer instead to your animal yearning than to anything that might hope to transform itself with a sentence.) I am on my hands and knees seeking matter. I am looking to obscure myself with substance. I’ve written it a hundred times before, perhaps a thousand—I’m tired of living this way.