The whole process is a lie, unless, crowned by excess, it break forcefully, one way or another, from its confinement-- or find a deeper well... I love you or I do not live at all. At our age the imagination across the sorry facts lifts us to make roses stand before thorns. Sure love is cruel and selfish and totally obtuse-- At least, blinded by the light, young love is. But we are older, I to love and you to be loved, we have, no matter how, by our wills survived to keep the jeweled prize always at our fingertips. We will it so and so it is past all accident.
~William Carlos Williams, excerpts from “The Ivy Crown”
written at age 72, published in Journey to Love
How can we, at our age,
who have treated love as no accident,
looking into a well
of such depth and richness,
how can we tell the young
to will their love to survive –
to strive through thorns and briars,
though tears wept and flesh torn,
to come to cherish the prize
of rose and ivy crown.
It is everything that matters,
this crown of love
we have willed and worn together:
I love you or I do not live at all.
I to love and you to be loved.