(Power) vs Love

No one’s ever given up power for love.

That puts duty before love. 

… and by extension, work/career must come first. What else is duty?

Duty. 

It is important to discuss what we are reaching for.

Lend me your imagination here:

It is as if a man and a woman danced together formally. In such an instance, the man leads.

If there were crowns involved, and the woman were to to take the man’s crown as he wore it and knelt facing away from her, that is, behind his back, she would put it on, he would rise and behold her as she faced away and donned the crown on her own head with much personal satisfaction. She has taken power. If for an instant.

In another dance involving a crown, the woman would kneel before the man and he would bestow it upon her, giving her power instead of her taking it.

In yet another, the man/woman dances alone with their crown.

Better yet, they both wear their own crowns and once again the man leads.

The point is: a man’s duty to lead goes beyond his obligations to power, a woman’s duty just the same. But without love…

Perhaps a better example is required.

One’s power is their ability to carry out their duty. 

Duty to self and duty to another. 

Duty to the world.

To sister.

To brother. 

Duty to home and duty to neighbor. 

Duty during battle and duty at labor.

Love itself is not a duty. It is a feeling, however strong, that has never matched ambition, intention, or devotion. Especially when that devotion is to a country.

It is noble to choose one’s duty over one’s heart. This is how you attain things that one cannot truly live without.

But one should not chase love through their duty or through their power. For surely love will bring you weakness and downfall should it never arrive, or worse; leave you.

Love is fleeting, complicated, and with a well known shelf life if commitments are made to the wrong individual or circumstances deteriorate.

Duty outlasts love. This alone gives it all the power that duty, or you, will ever need.

Be Well.

Sonya…

There once was a girl named Sonya. I loved her. From the moment I first saw her at recess in 2nd grade, until high school when I finally struck up the nerve to actually speak to girls about my romantic intentions toward them. 

There were times, like in fourth grade, when some of us would put glue on our palms and wait for it to dry so we could stick them together and as they pulled apart it would look like webs from a spider. The fun part was peeling all the dry glue off of your hands piece by piece. The larger the peels the better. Sometimes Sonya would join in and we’d all have fun. Even if some of our hearts were pounding harder than the others at her closeness.

Well, she had long brown hair. Unfinished, lightly brown skin. The most adorable face with crooked teeth. She also flirted and was always trying to be close to this other boy I knew. It hurt. This boy was always dominant at recess. He played soccer, he played basketball– he was good too. Better than I was. That hurt, too.

I dreamt of Sonya. Boyish dreams I don’t remember the details of. Being nowhere near puberty at the time I don’t have many jokes from the dreams. I remember my feelings being of quite a serious nature. So much so that I kept them a secret and felt that if anyone knew they would either worry about me or force me to confront the lovely gal.

But I positively burst with the desire to do so. There was a period in middle school, which was a different building but with most of the same students from elementary years, where I became obsessed with writing her a letter that might describe my feelings for her. But my fear of rejection had been heightened back in 5th grade. 

It was the year I had sat at a computer and wrote from memory the entire Disney’s Hercules film into a Microsoft Word document over the course of a few days with the free time portion of the day.

Two reasons I love to write are the letter to Sonya, and the discovery of Microsoft Word that year. Though, admittedly, the letter was to be handwritten. I didn’t own a printer and there was no way I would let anyone else read the contents.

That year, I wrote a different girl who I had a smaller but still significant crush on a very small question on a piece of folded paper and set it on her desk. There, with my name at the bottom, was the query: “Do you like me? Yes or no.”

I watched her open the paper and read it. I didn’t expect her to write something on it. I couldn’t wait to read what she wrote. But before I got to, she balled it up tightly and threw it in the trash can nearest to me.

Great vote of confidence.

I was devastated. So I never gave Sonya the letter. I never even wrote it. Constantly I would rewrite and edit it time and time again in my head. But never were these words shared. Never did I speak to her about my love for her for fear it would be unrequited.

Did I want her to love me back? Hardly was it a prerequisite, but if she would even grow to, I’m sure I would have had no need for heaven, church, or food, or a silly old QWERTY keyboard.

My hypothesis is that the constantly edited letter going through draft after draft in my head and then getting constantly suppressed by my fear of rejection, fueled by that intense love for that… damn girl, has been the source of what would later become the voices in my head.

The doctors speak of it as a “split”. The voices themselves sound typically like my desires. The problem with the voices is that what they say, need be said, yet doesn’t come out because once the sentence is formed, it’s echoed inside in a timbre that isn’t recognized as myself. So I react by listening as if someone else has read my mind and said it out loud. Which, by the way, is EXACTLY how it feels. Every time.

My assumption as to the cause of my auditory hallucinations is that once I distanced myself from the sound of my heart’s deepest desire – in this case: Sonya – by denying myself the love I obsessed over, and by the suppression of my inner voice (and all that beautiful poetry)for all those years, my mind has split into at least two parts. The suppressed voice and the expressed mind. This results in the third voice, the psychological shadow, the sound of the original mind, the unconscious… along with it’s frustrated tone.

It’s just a hypothesis, I don’t know for sure. The causes of schizophrenia are as unknown as the number of sand on the shore.

Maybe the idea she would ever go for me was my first delusion. Think of those implications. Granted, you don’t know someone’s preferences if you don’t ask or they are unwilling to tell. And 2nd grade is a difficult time to enter puberty. At any rate- that’s early. 3 years early by today’s data on when puberty starts and how old children are in that grade.

Love hurts. But unhealthy obsession is what leads to mental health issues. Since I never confronted the girl and told her how I felt, I’m sure it was an unhealthy obsession. I’m also sure I have other problems that stem from my life’s first prolonged heartbreak. But at least time has gone by and I’ve gotten over, more like “past” her. Just be careful out there, you could really mess yourself up if your self esteem is dependent on who you love and you must obsess over when you will finally win them over.

It’s so unfair.

Be Well. 

Defying Covid for Love

Image: Lovers for however long…

It’s been a year, now that March is here, I’m not going to let COVID19 keep me away from having a girlfriend.

It’s been long enough.

The holidays have been tough and in order to face the next ones, and for the sake of my own heart, I have to find a girl. 

It’s that simple.

I will now remove my mask when I think I have met someone I could be romantically involved with.

This is the problem:

I’m jealous of the relationships I see, the love scenes in movies, the stories my siblings tell me about their brushes with love.

I want that. I miss that. And I’ve been ready for that for a long time.

I know the potential. I know I could catch a deadly disease if I find someone who’s symptomatic or asymptomatic and my mask is off as they cough or… we kiss…

But after a year of not even kissing a woman, I must brave the pandemic. 

The plan:

I will not be walking the streets without a mask, I will simply not use it when my options for love increase. As for distancing, I will still obey the mandatory guidelines in public settings and be masked in all of the appropriate settings.

The thing is; if she seems healthy (which is the usual requirement) enough for sex and is around my age, and provided she has any interest in breaking with guidelines (rules) for any chance at romance, then that’s a sign I should pursue.

And so, instead of doing nothing and suffering for another year, I will Pursue With Caution.

Wish me luck, I may not emerge from love alive…

Be well.

The Significance of Another

Sculpture: Antonio Canova’s “Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss”

The season of Valentine’s Day is the most inviting of warm feelings. It is said to have rivaled Christmas. If Christmas was for boys and girls and Valentine’s Day was for mommy and daddy.

But nothing can take the place of a significant other. That doesn’t stop people and professions from trying. Those people are your siblings who need to feel a connection and don’t have anyone. Those professions? Stripping, Prostitution, Pornography, I refuse to list them all though I may not be missing many.

I digress…

This is that time of season. The season for romance. For married couples, for lovers, for hookups, one night stands, getting back with your ex, and taking it to the next level with the person you love, moving in together, getting a pet, proposals, setting the date, the whole nine yards.

It is also the season for loneliness, recognizing just how significant someone can be when they’re not yours, for crying over bowl after bowl of ice cream, for romantic comedies for one, not to mention the relapse, homicide and suicide rates, jealous brawls, arrests, and hospitalization common for this holiday.

At the end of the day, we feel so strongly about just having a significant other that once we do, they become more important than even ourselves. That’s if we’re doing it right.

That’s what I want to encourage out there. Do it right. Lose yourself in the love of your other. Embrace with your whole heart. Give of yourself, not to yourself.

A lot of self interest comes with being alive and having to create or maintain your territory, but it is the very definition of love to give your territory up for your lover. There is no better explanation for the madness they create within us.

Question yourself if you don’t feel this strongly about it. Question your lover, question your motives, but above all question your own intentions with this person. You may trust them, you may enjoy them, but what would you give to keep them?

It’s the only meter you have for how long you’ll be together. The more you can live without, the more you will try to.

Sacrifice is the true measure of love. It comes in many forms- compassion, philanthropy- but it’s true love is romance.

Did you catch what happened to “true love” just there? It was redefined.

One’s true love is the person who unintentionally makes you a sacrificial lamb. Christ loved his father. He should have loved humanity more. It was his father’s mission to show mercy to mankind through forgiveness. Christ died for God. The evidence is in his prayers (book of Matthew).

That’s Christianity. Only love itself survives the story. So once your heart is set on the beloved, if it takes blood, if it takes fortune, if it takes life itself… give it. And claim your mate.

Consider what it would like to be without it (again). Do your best to keep love with you. May love be with you, so you may run to your lover if agony befall you. For if love be absent and agony find you, you may wish you had fought for it more…