I was thinking of all the ways we want to love, convince ourselves to love, try to love, but always being left just with how we love: say what we might, wish what we might, we drift in our green to what is.
Early in their relationship, French writer and director Jean Cocteau struggled to control his feelings for young actor Jean Marais, to whom he was immediately drawn (“I did not meet him. I recognized him.”) Though Marais may have first reciprocated the older man’s affections to win a film role in 1938, the two fell precipitously in love while working together. Cocteau tried vainly to tamp down his passion for Marais, first casting it as paternal with the hope that his consuming jealousy would not flare up and drive his new muse away. But Marais soon replaced opium as Cocteau’s singular inspiration, and the poet quickly confessed, “I no longer exist apart from you.” Despite regular clashes fueled by mistrust and possessiveness, the two became Paris’ premier couple and lived together for a decade, collaborating closely until Cocteau’s death in 1963. Though he tried to fight it in the early years, Cocteau ultimately came to peace with his simple observation: “There is no such thing as a small love.”