Every so often, I experience an existential phenomenon in which I discover other writers are feeling -and writing- the same things I’m experiencing at the exact moment I need them. Tonight, I went in search of something to distract or preoccupy me and instead was slapped in the face with an article that was too eerily fitting for my current mood, if I’m being honest.
I’ve struggled with this slightly tragic fact about myself for years. Even as a preteen, I was constantly faced with this hard fact about my person as I cried on my parents’ floor because a friend chose someone else’s sleep over. Every time I was left out in high school, every time I’ve been dumped, every Saturday night spent alone, every rainy day my pleads for a ride home go unanswered, I’m brought back to this.
Unlike the author here, I am not always so sure of how I feel about this trait. I am absolutely tied to the idea of love. Love of friends. Love of family. Love of experiences. I think it is the core of our existence and a fundamental source of power and energy. As I’ve gown and learned from this, I’ve come to understand that love does not always have to be tied to another person. Self or external passions can serve as a very intense source of love.
However, I think the place I derive the most positive energy is in loving someone. At times I fear this is my most fatal flaw and at other times I am so profoundly happy that I can root my happiness is something as beautiful as another human.
I’ve also been experiencing the importance of the idea of an “I” recently. That is, in a sense, the importance of self and even selfishness. But even as I write it, it makes me cringe. As the writer above similarly notes, I’ve always prized myself on selflessness and a life shared with others. On the contrary, I’ve been through some shit of my own and I am coming to a place where I feel as if I deserve to do what is good for me.
But I just want everything to be good for everything and everyone.
And that is childish.
And I’m fully aware.
I’m not ready to let go of that idea yet and I’m not sure if I ever will be. As much happiness and strength as I’ve found within my own being over the past few months, I still can’t imagine a life where I don’t share that growth with another. I view love and life as a thing of nature: two things may spend an eternity growing, breaking and bending into a wonderfully unique organism but at times the parts are stil most beautiful when viewed as a whole.
There is a process in nature known as inosculation. It is a natural phenomenon in which trunks, branches or roots of two trees grow together. Consequently, the term also means to unite intimately.
The More Loving One
W.H. Auden, 1907 – 1973
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.