“Speak to us”, they asked, “of love.”
And so he did:
Love is not married to love. Love is not married to affection, but to Will.
Just as the physical act of love, among mortals, produces a like kind, so also do all acts of love, among all things, exist to reproduce.
The labours of love, all, are expressions of Will: hammer blows, hoes hacking at the stony earth, or the gentle impression of the potter’s fingers. The servants of the old gods will tell you that to hate a thing, to fear a thing is to wish to change it; I say to love a thing is to desire a shape for it, and cause that shape to be. By love, we settle the destinies of our children, draw the borders of empires, distort the rawness of a tree into a table, a chair, a cart, or a throne.
They will tell you, ‘To control a thing is not to love it; be changed by the things you love instead.’ I say there are many Wills in the universe, and thus all things change constantly: pity you if your Will should be the weakest among them.
They will tell you, “Love is always gentle, love is always kind.” I say that to be subject to the desire for affection is to reproduce only the shape of animals.
They will tell you, “A lover’s voice, if they truly love, will tell no lies.” I say do not warn the tree that the axe is coming, lest it shy from the stroke. Instead, as you hew away, praise it for the future you have offered it, and sing to it hymns in honor of its pain, that it might be encouraged.