tag : bright yellow-green apples: Abelard's therapy

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Monday, February 14, 2005

Abelard's therapy



figure 6.1. what goes around

Better you were to me than I was to myself
but what water we were I'm against it still,
the turn on love is patience and thousand lies
while sleepless still loves we cannot sleep still with,
are breathless but still lives we cannot breathe with,
til doubt gives in fear and throws the first light stone
against names we never made, and loving break
~from A garden of Tears III, by Drew Milne

All around us today is the gilded gloss of romantic gesture, even if a lot of us get by without any notice. Perhaps that's a relief in some ways, given how schmaltzy and glossily shopping-based the whole shebang is. But still, it gets a lot of people thinking about love and companionship - so I thought I'd cast my stone in here.

There was a very well thought through article in the paper today, and personally helpful toboot. The gist was that though love (particularly unrequited feelings) may be destabilising - even threatening to our whole sense of well-being - there should be affirmation of the passion and risk in following emotion. I know myself how difficult the course of love can be, and some of the shaking effects that can result - there's massive challenges that I wouldn't wish on anyone. Yet, despite my utter cynicism today in singing along to bloody minded and defiant music on my walkman, whether the smallest gesture of interest or the grandest expression of affection, I would still encourage the gesture of tokens on a day like this. Provided there are ways of circumnavigating the commercial-fest, in cards, flowers, food, personal stuff, or whatever, I think there's loads of value in the rituals and object-expressions in romance.

What becomes of the embodied associations that these objects and tokens accumulate? One of the most affecting films I've watched for a long time was Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind. It's an incredibly poignant tale of two people who decide, after falling out of affection, to erase their memories of relationship - to wipe all that they've been through together. What's left are small reminders, fragments of memory and gaps in thought and their journals. Afterwards they find so much confusion and melancholy in tracing through the clues they left behind, and such hardship coming to terms with what they had done to each other - the sheer violence of erasing someone from their stories. Yet somehow they find redemption, and mutual grace, traced through even the innocuous little tokens that survived as a thread of care where wilful destruction of their narratives had occurred.

This has got all heavy. Essentially my message is; if you can find a way to express romance - or any feelings about anyone in any way - through the things that express sacramentally incarnate values, meanings, and messages - then there's untold value to be found in doing so. Go for it, with any excuse.

2 Comments:

Blogger mary said...

sorry has taken me quite a while to comment on yer ponderings...i always enjoy reading them, and they do spark off various trains of thought, i just never seem to get round to sharing my thoughts!

i agree in that while you can disregard valentines day as "hallmark day" etc, there is something fresh and lovely that can be gleaned from it. you can make someone breakfast, or just ring a friend you haven't talked to, or draw someone a picture or leave them a chocolate coissant, and lots of other loverly things. as regards telling people you love them even if it's unrequited, "better to have loved and lost..."

also, when i think of all the people who are lonely and hurting just because noone will have a cup of tea with them, or a chat, or give them a hug, tis ridiculous. we should be that friendly person who hugs the people noone else hugs, who loves the people noone else loves. so, this was my 1st train of thought...

10:39 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

No apologies needed - I appreciate any comments, whenever (such a tart).

There's a great article about celibacy I once read that said something siimilar - singledom, in any form, can be a great chance to share a little widely.

2:48 PM  

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