dimecres, d’agost 08, 2007

A letter to M. (English)

Hi M,

I spend my life wondering about the question you pose. As I look around my world, I have to conclude what happens to the broken hearted is that we retire, generally, to a comfortable world of experiences that that we share with generally casual friends, since, try as we might, love eludes us like water eludes the thirsty in a desert. Only, the thirsty eventually die, the lovelorn just continue to suffer as we watch others find something in life which, for us, as the sand in the hour glass, diminishes and seems less and less likely to be ours.

I have concluded, therefore, that love is a nasty, cruel hoax, and that life, absurd as it surely is, is better with relatively little. At some point in our lives we have loved, and here I mean romantically. For, 'tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved all, says St. Augustine. Thus we have experienced a part of it, but we are not fortunate enough to experience all of it.

Few are. I have observed that most people experience a life in the throes of the wicked double helix of co-dependence, a wicked bugaboo who travels in the guise of love. This leads me to the conclusion that, by large and far, those of us in our 30's who are not partnered have learned to live alone, independently, and that is how we shall grow old and die, always wondering if there hadn't been something better. Alas, because of our experience of surviving alone, we have actually dispensed with the need for love.

Of course, for some people there was something better. Alas, for very few. Most relationships are shallow, vacuous fantoms of love. For those few for whom it is not, they will live and die in a life of true love, what we call in Welsh, cariad cywir. For some others still, greater in number than those who knew true love, but still fewer than the majority, they will have learned to love their partners in spite of them, not because of them. So many times I have watched life come to an end over the years, and realized that the one left behind stayed not because of an undying love, but because there was no one better to go to.

I've seen a lot of death. In another sense of love, the love for kindred, I live each breath with a deep and profound sense of loss and longing. That love is real, and when our hearts break from those losses, it is just, since we have lost a love that is forged only in the bonds of family, and so rarely with friends, a bond that is forged in the fires of adversity and struggle amidst people who would never have chosen to be with one another, but who are with one another because of fate, culture and belief, and who find love by happenstance, and sometimes duty. It is among these type of people that love can flourish in the existential sense, for nearly everyone. Romantic love is, as I have said before, more difficult to come by, so much more ephemeral.

And even romantic love, as we conceive of it today is not an ancient thing. Our ancestors rarely knew of it. It is a wretched invention of the Victorians, who lived too long and too well for all our good! They created this concept of romantic love, based on the ancient "romans" of France where courtly love played out its course. However, courtly love was by large and far adulterous and only sexual (and rarely accomplished)! They chose to reinterpret this sense of love given their longer lives, as something spiritual. The Victorians were so dreadfully confused...

People in the 20th century came to embrace the chicanery of the the 19th century whole-heartedly, thus embuing those of us born in the 20th century with a fatalistic, though wholly unreasonable expectation of romantic love. It's a hard act to follow on the best of days.
As to your question, what becomes of the broken hearted... Me, counting myself in their midst, what I do to soften the sharp edges of a disappointing love-life is sit back with another lovely cocktail and smile. My life isn't perfect, but it does have its pleasures. I can't find true love, but I do find fun-time friends who come around for months or years at a time. No, it ain't perfect, and it's certainly absurd, but it's better than dying of thirst, and it's better than being a romantic Victorian and just dying!

4 comentaris:

Melanie ha dit...

I'm cursed with having a romantic heart that is ever searching for true love. I must be a masochist. Even now after my heart has been clobbered, I am going back for more.

Bacchus ha dit...

Well don't we always. It's an elusive and ancient dream, one we carry from childhood. I do the same. I probably always will. To what end, that's anybody's guess. Good luck!!

Tree ha dit...

I could have written many of those words myself. I'm not sure how I lucked out and find myself married, not out of convenience or desperation, but out of what you referred to as cariad cywir. I'm well aware that my finding this kind of love was a result of chance. Just like winning the lottery, I suppose. It wasn't because I had paid my dues or attracted something into my life like those folks who believe in "The Secret." I just plain lucked out.

So, I wish you the same luck. It's possible. But you're right, 'tis best not to long for it, if that can be helped. Good drink, good food, good friends. These are the things that will make this life worthwhile enough until that final dirt nap.

Bacchus ha dit...

And tonight I was speaking to someone who found a doctor as a partner! A doctor! And where did he find him, but during a visit for an illness! It is all luck, and in the fields of love, mine is all bad. All the the other children snatched the Easter Eggs before I could!