Love Thy Stranger

“Love thy neighbor” does not mean love people insofar as they conform to your ideas about likeability, but to meet with love the strange monster, who does not necessarily know nor care what we want, living next door to all of us. There is a stranger in all of us, who puts us beside ourselves, and in this way opens our hearts.

“All the strangers came today / and it looks as though they’re here to stay” sings David Bowie in “Oh You Pretty Things.” The strangers do not cease being strangers because we get to know them though. That pleasant familiarity we feel in love (for the stranger) is at the same time the pathos of our exile, and should we ever find the former to banish the latter, we’ll die alone.