Jeanette Winterson – Written on the Body

I have spent most of my life thinking about love. I understood early that love could be exciting, extravagant, risky, reckless, heart-racing, heart-breaking, complete, catastrophic, desired and desperate. And I knew that love was like a scent trail and I would follow it. That love could not be a thought-experiment. That love should never count the cost. That the cost is the exchange of the self as a single currency.

I set out to fathom love because I lost it too soon– at six weeks old when I was adopted. Losing love early shapes the idea of love into its opposite: Loss.

Why is the measure of love loss?

Our binary oppositions are too crude. The opposite of love is not hate – in fact love and hate are as close as a pair of hostile brothers, as anyone who has fallen out of love – with a person or a cause, will know.

If love means to gain everything then to lose love is to lose everything.