Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chase Scenes in Love Movies

I dislike chase scenes in love movies. I used to think they were incredibly beautiful, poetic, exciting, and romantic. I imagined having a love story like that, finding someone who would do anything to chase me down and confess how much they needed me in their lives. Then I grew up. I realized that running away is really quite adolescent. If you really truly love someone you don’t leave them unless you are too weak or too immature to stay. You don’t leave just because they haven’t said the right words yet or expressed their love the way that you want them to. You don’t run away just to prove a point. You are able to suffer for them if necessary. You give without needing anything in return. And if the situation becomes toxic, and you do find you must eliminate them from your life, no amount of chasing on their part, nothing they say or do should make you change your mind. Save the drama for the theater.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The 'Albatross' and "The Wind Is Not Depressed"

I recently stumbled across an article published by The Sun magazine in 2004 titled “The Wind Isn’t Depressed.” It is based upon conversation between authors Michael Ventura and Robert Bly about “art, madness, and the joy of loss.” Although there are certainly viewpoints expressed in the article I do not agree with, it did bring up an interesting point that I really liked and thought was worth sharing.
In one of Bly’s poems he writes,

                “Why do we imagine that we are responsible for all
                The pain of those near to us? The albatross that lands
                On the mast began flying a thousand years ago.”

Ventura mentions that one reaction to this could be that it is an abdication of responsibility and that this cannot help us understand how we are responsible for each other’s pain. Bly responds to this by saying, “When something goes wrong in a marriage, and it all comes to grief, it’s our habit to think, It’s my fault. But from the view point of an older culture, each of us has had many past lives, and the suffering that you and your spouse just went through is not coming from your connection to each other. It’s coming from those past lives. The albatross began flying a thousand years ago.”

As we struggle with relationships, especially those that go sour, we are constantly fighting to try to figure out where the blame lies. In times when this is unclear, which is often, some of us default to blaming ourselves while others tend to blame the other person. Few of us embrace the perspective that sometimes the ultimate conflict between two individuals actually begins way before they even met, in all the past moments of their lives, and in the lives of those before them that have had an impact on the person they have become. Although I certainly believe that there are times where it is important to accept responsibility in the failure of a relationship, I also believe that there are times when we should realize that there are forces in our lives pushing us in a certain direction, and that there are some crashes in life that we couldn’t have prevented even if we’d tried. In other words, you can’t blame everything on Bly’s ‘albatross’ but there is liberation and value in knowing that it’s there.