The New York Times “Modern Love” Flash Reading in San Francisco

K.K. Goldberg

I had the great pleasure of joining fellow New York Times “Modern Love” essayists at San Francisco’s Books Inc. Dan Jones, the amazing editor of this column, summoned us to do “flash readings” as part of an event for his new book, Love Illuminated. Turns out he’s a wonderful, funny, and insightful writer, and the evening was a blast. He’d asked each of us to come up with 125 words or fewer on the prompt, “What I’ll never understand about love is…” Here’s what I read:

What I’ll never understand about love is how it can renew itself.

Everyone says relationships take work, but sometimes it’s more like the dried-up houseplant I once shoved on the back porch so as not to watch it die. Winter storms came and went, and one day, I opened the door again and found that plant in bloom.

I used to think love thrived when you were thin, happy, kept a nice house and gave more than you took.

Raising twin boys with my husband changed all that. It turns out all the stuff I strive for, hoping to be lovable, isn’t what counts most.

The biggest love has its own life force, and finds a way to blossom.