David Brooks, author of “Way to nature” said about the feeling which broke out between Anna Akhmatova and philosopher Isaiah Berlin. Read and enjoy the beauty of the moment.
It happened in Leningrad in 1945. Akhmatova, being 20 years older than Berlin, became famous as a poet before the revolution. In 1925 she was not allowed to publish. First husband of Anna Akhmatova shot on false charges in 1921. In 1938, her son in jail. More than six years, Anna Akhmatova spent her days standing outside the prison, hoping to learn something about his fate.
Berlin knew little about the poet. He was passing through Leningrad, and the friend offered to introduce them. Berlin has led to her apartment, and he saw a woman still beautiful and powerful, though wounded by tyranny and war. At first they talked discreetly talked about the war and British universities. Other guests came and went.
By midnight, the Englishman and the landlady were left alone. They sat on opposite ends of the room. Akhmatova told about his youth, about marriage, about the death of her first husband.
She began to recite Byron’s “don Juan” with such passion that Berlin turned his face to the window to hide his feelings. Then she began to read his poetry, but was suddenly interrupted and told how because of these lines was under arrest and was executed one of her comrades.
At four o’clock in the night the conversation turned to great writers. Both were highly appreciated by Pushkin and Chekhov. Berlin liked the light intelligence of Turgenev, while Akhmatova preferred the dark depths of Dostoevsky.
More and more they disclose to each other the soul. Akhmatova confessed how lonely for her, shared their feelings, talked about literature and art. Berlin did not dare to go out even in the restroom, not to destroy the charm of the moment. They read the same books, thought about the same thing, understand the aspirations of each other.
That night, writes in his biography of Berlin, Michael Ignatieff, his life is “the closest they have come to full perfection of art.” In the end he forced himself to leave. Returning to the hotel at 11 am, he threw himself on the bed and exclaimed, “I’m in love I’m in love”.
The night that we had together in Berlin and Akhmatova — a perfect specimen of a special kind of communication between people who believe that the most worthy of attention knowledge is not information, as in the greatest works of art in a stored human civilization stock of moral, emotional and life wisdom. This communication, in which intellectual compatibility emotional transformirovalsya in the merger. Berlin and Akhmatova could lead a life-changing conversation, because I read that is necessary. They believed that needs to go one-on-one with serious ideas and serious books which teach to perceive life in all its diversity and serve as a catalyst for subtle moral and emotional judgments. They spoke the same language — the language of literature, written by geniuses who understand us better than we ourselves understand.
This night is still and the ideal of a special kind of connection between people. Such love is rare, it occurs as a result of many coincidences that perhaps at best only once or twice in my life. Berlin and Akhmatova felt like everything miraculously falls into place. They were largely the same. Between them was such harmony that all internal barriers collapsed overnight.
Judging by the poems Akhmatova about that night, the impression that they were intimately close; however, according to Ignatieff, they barely touched each other. Their communion was primarily intellectual, emotional, spiritual; it was a combination of love and friendship.
They say that friends see the world side by side, and the lovers live face-to-face; in Berlin and Akhmatova turned both. They shared each other’s beliefs and at the same time fed them.
For Berlin, this night has become one of the most important life events. Akhmatova could not leave the Soviet Union and was forced to live under the rule of the regime, and plant fear and lies. She was accused of contacts with a British spy and expelled from the writers ‘ Union. Her son was incarcerated. Akhmatova was in despair, but with gratitude remembered the visit of Berlin with a fervor spoke of him, and with a sense of wrote about the mystical magic of that night. <…>
Love does not choose to obey her.
Love requires surrender inexplicable force, regardless of losses. She calls to abandon conventional thinking and fully pour out their feelings, not to measure them on a teaspoon.
The metaphor of Stendhal, the perception of the lover undergoes crystallization: a loved one becomes a jewel, shining all the facets of perfection. For the love of the object of his passion, endowed with the charm that is invisible to others. A memorable place where love first bloomed, take on a sacred meaning, not available to anyone else. The days when lovers exchanged first words and first kisses, turn into Holy days. Their feelings cannot be expressed in prose — only music and poetry, glances and touches. Lovers exchange so stupid and excited phrases that they have to keep secret because they might seem crazy, if spoken among friends in the light of day.
We fall for that, who would be most useful to us, — not the richest or most popular person, not with the best connections and not with the best prospects in his career. The second Adam chooses us person, guided only by inner harmony, inspiration, joy and elation because this man or this woman are what they are. Moreover, love is not looking for the shortest, reasonable, true way; for some insane reason, it strengthens the barriers and it rarely achieves its purpose prudence. Maybe you had to try to warn the lovers that they should not get married because their Union will not be happy. But often people don’t see what others see, and even if they could, it is unlikely that would roll out of the way, because for them it is better to be miserable together than happy apart.
They’re in love, and do not buy stocks, and solutions manages a poetic temperament, partly mindset, partly blinding feeling. Love is as poetic needs; it exists simultaneously above and below the world, where there is logic and calculation.