When I was 21 or 22, and living in Chicago in my post-college confusions and miseries, I asked my friend Ann (an artist) a question that perhaps would have been more appropriate coming from someone much younger than myself. I asked her when she had known — known — that what she felt for her partner was love. She was driving us both to work, at the leftie newspaper. Ann thought about it, then said she could remember the exact moment when she knew: they were on a hill, in some grassy place, it was getting dark, and Ann suddenly perceived her girlfriend to be surrounded by light — a softness.
This description made a deep impression on me: without consciously thinking about it, I waited — for years and years — for the time when I would see that light myself. Now I see it every day. I can’t imagine asking for anything more.