It's hard to improve on the poet, Rilke, who wrote, "Love consists of this, that two solitudes meet, protect, and greet each other." But did Rilke have to deal with Angry Birds and Snap Chat?
Also, the larvae of two species -- the antlion and the wormlion -- are in the habit of digging little sandpits, flinging the sand up along the sides so that the pit is a perfect cone shape and so that the sand is pitched at the perfect "angle of a repose." There's quite a pit of math and science pertaining to the angle of repose, but for our purposes, it means the angle at which a solid material stops sliding downward.
My friend Peter and I used to discuss the angle of repose in terms of love. There must come a point, we reasoned, when the long rock slide of seeking and wanting and getting and seeking more would stop. And a man would know some peace.
I am pleased to report that we have both achieved that angle, perhaps a little late in life. But the whole point of an antlion's pit is that the tiniest insect can start the whole thing sliding again, with the poor little tumbling down to be devoured.
On this show, we'll talk frankly about what modern life has done to love, and vice versa.
- Dan Jones is the author of Love Illuminated: Exploring Life’s Most Mystifying Subject With The Help of 50,000 Strangers, and he’s also the editor of the Modern Love column at the New York Times
- Laura Kipnis is the author of Against Love: A Polemic
Betsy Kaplan and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on February 13, 2014.