Misery’s the River of the World

Progress has been… sporadic. I find that being alone makes it much harder to concentrate. I did manage to create an interesting new obstacle for Phenomenon 32, though, so I guess I should be happy about that. Wasted a lot of time watching Inside the Actors Studio on YouTube.

I was amused by how a few people seemed to react quite negatively to the idea that I really, really love my wife. They seem to find this almost offensive, as if I was peddling some kind of absurd notion like homeopathy, and not the most ancient and profound human experience of all. But then, to the fashionably cynical, the very notion that there might be profound human experiences is offensive, because it shatters their flat little world.

I am grateful for my friends, who are not superficial cynics and do understand how I feel. I’ve been miserable, but I would’ve been a lot more miserable without their support. (You know who you are. Especially you.)

Soppy emo shit? Only if you don’t have a life. Get one of those – they’re good.

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7 Comments

  1. Well, I know im in the bag with the whole “react quite negatively” to the statement that you love your wife, so I’m going to explain myself:

    I belive it is wonderful that you love your wife that much, I really do. I just say that love isn’t the answer to all and when it doesn’t let you think straight, it becomes your ruler.

    love is the greatest human experience of all. but im sorry, its like every other force of nature around, it can choose to destroy you as much as it can choose you to give you life. Im never going to agree with people who says that you have to almost abandon yourself in it because, sometimes love is just not enough.

    And by the way, iv’e have experienced true profound love, i know there are profound human experiences, All I say, is nothing its totally good or totally bad, that it’s better to mantain balance.

  2. Harrith

     /  March 22, 2010

    Empiricism fail on their part. It’s like children pretending to be teachers, not realising that they’re still being at school by doing so.

    I don’t believe love itself can really “choose” to do anything. I believe that if “love” causes any form of negativity, then it’s not “love” in an unconditional way, and that if two people love each other unconditionally then nothing can really come between them in that sense. Obviously they can be physically separated, but I highly doubt that physical separation can make people love each other less.
    Ye of confusing apostrophe usage, look not just at shapes but also at circumstances. You’re clearly so ready to be skeptic about love, so willing to write your cynicism, but, referencing your comment on the last post, don’t the “love songs” often mention “true” love? Now consider this; why would a person want to take extra lengths to make it known that their love was true, not caring that (if “true love” is true) the alternative would be false love? I think that between love and “true” love is the line which separates positive love and negative “love”.

  3. I belive it is wonderful that you love your wife that much, I really do. I just say that love isn’t the answer to all and when it doesn’t let you think straight, it becomes your ruler.

    First of all, I didn’t say love is the answer to everything. Or actually it probably is, but not necessarily in its personal form. That’s why I actually think you misunderstood the song lyric you quoted: the point is that love cannot keep bad things from happening, it cannot keep sadness out of your life. But no-one claimed that it can.

    Second of all, if you think in terms of love becoming your ruler, you’ve got things the wrong way around. Love isn’t some external force that makes you do things. Love is you. Love is who you are. If love comes from who you are, how can it rule you? If you think of love as separate from yourself, you’re buying into the wrong thing.

    love is the greatest human experience of all. but im sorry, its like every other force of nature around, it can choose to destroy you as much as it can choose you to give you life. Im never going to agree with people who says that you have to almost abandon yourself in it because, sometimes love is just not enough.

    You don’t need to abandon yourself in it because there is no difference between you and it. Is sacrifice sometimes involved? Certainly, as it is with all good things. But you do it gladly, because it is who you are, and you’d rather sacrifice something to stay true to that. This dichotomy of “me VS love” is completely false.

    There are powerful emotional attachments other than love, and these are sometimes mistaken for love. I know that. It’s happened to me.

    Empiricism fail on their part. It’s like children pretending to be teachers, not realising that they’re still being at school by doing so.

    I don’t believe love itself can really “choose” to do anything. I believe that if “love” causes any form of negativity, then it’s not “love” in an unconditional way, and that if two people love each other unconditionally then nothing can really come between them in that sense. Obviously they can be physically separated, but I highly doubt that physical separation can make people love each other less.
    Ye of confusing apostrophe usage, look not just at shapes but also at circumstances. You’re clearly so ready to be skeptic about love, so willing to write your cynicism, but, referencing your comment on the last post, don’t the “love songs” often mention “true” love? Now consider this; why would a person want to take extra lengths to make it known that their love was true, not caring that (if “true love” is true) the alternative would be false love? I think that between love and “true” love is the line which separates positive love and negative “love”.

    Yes! Thank you.

  4. Helen

     /  March 22, 2010

    Hmmm.

    I wonder if the issue people apparently had with what you said was in your wording. It seemed at times almost aggressively defensive.

    I do not doubt the love between you and Verena for a second. I think your relationship is absolutely beautiful. It makes me smile. I haven’t met either of you in person, but it still comes across very strongly.

    You do not take each other for granted.

    You really love each other, and it’s a wonderful thing.

    And I’m glad she is (I assume) back now and you can feel better again.

    It is my opinion, though, that how well (or poorly) you cope in your partner’s absence is not especially related to how much you love him/her, or even the way that you love him/her.

    You mentioned that this was the first time you had to be apart from Verena. I wonder if perhaps if you had to spend longer times apart – weeks or even months – you would find within you the capacity to function adequately? i.e. If you were less miserable, it would not mean your love had changed or diminished. Right?

    I don’t know, maybe you would disagree. And that’s fine. I mean, I’m not going to squabble about something so individual.

    I guess I just think that love is love, and coping is coping, and they are different animals.

    My perspective on love and absence is necessarily somewhat different from yours. I would like to explain it. Unfortunately, I will have to talk about ME, which is going to be long and boring. But OH WELL. I apologise in advance!

    It is nobody’s place to judge how you feel about your wife, or how you respond to her absence. Emotional responses are very complex and it’s meaningless to judge what is universally appropriate or inappropriate.

    But this is my take. Sometimes things are just beyond your control, and when the need arises, you find that, given enough time, you have the capacity to adjust. You cope. You get on with things. Do I miss my boyfriend? Of course. I haven’t seen him for 5 months. And he’ll be deployed for another 5 still. Yet, against all odds I feel very close to him. There is something that time and distance cannot affect. I do not feel alone. He’s my best friend and I miss him unimaginable amounts but I make it my responsibility to lead a happy, healthy and fulfilling life when I can’t hear his voice or see his face. Why? Well, for one thing the thought of being miserable for 10 months isn’t very fun. 😛 I don’t enjoy being depressed. Who would?! But, more importantly, it would -certainly- hurt him to imagine me spending my days sad and alone and depressed. I am responsible for my own happiness. Nobody else. That’s all me. Loving somebody does not change that. It was hard enough for T to deal with the guilt of not being around – if he knew that without him I was miserable, it would break his heart because our physical proximity is the ONE THING he has no control over. Sure he can write me a million letters but he can’t be there when I fall asleep at night, and if I couldn’t deal with that it would destroy us. I could never ask him to shoulder the responsibility of my happiness. My happiness is mine to nurture and to keep safe. And I find that I can be happy. Genuinely happy. Genuinely happy and missing him at the same time. Is that very surprising? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. This is simply what I have found, this sense of balance.

    The balance was not easy to find. It can be precarious at times. And I am always aware, somewhere in the back of my mind, that life would be better, richer, more vivid if he were here with me, or at least if we could speak on the phone and hear each other’s voices for a while. Because in a relationship there is something that is created between you, something that is neither you nor the other person, but something new and it is alive and vibrant and it and it changes you both in subtle ways, it makes you more than you were. So when I am enjoying myself, I often find myself wishing he were there to share the moment with me. But when all we have is letters, words in ink curling onto paper, we make do. We make it enough.

    I allow myself to be sad sometimes. Of course I do. There will always be bad days. The first week was hell. Repressing those feelings would be pointless. But I do not dwell in them. There are still several long months ahead, and I want to emerge from them smiling and with pleasant memories and a stability of spirit. I think all time is precious, even the moments we have to spend alone against our wishes, so I never allow myself to wish the days away. I made a promise to myself that I would try to love each day, to give it something that will last.

    So I do try. Really, really try. I do this for me, and for him.

    But this is not relevant to you.

    Perhaps you and Verena will never be apart for more than a day or two. After all, three days being sad and lonely isn’t going to cause problems.

    But in longer absences, I think it’s vitally important to learn to function and to find happiness independently.

    And that is merely my opinion.

    But. Yes. I am done now. Huzz.

    I will be quiet and crawl back into the cupboard where I live and observe the humans through tiny holes in the wall.

    Good day.

    :]

  5. @Helen: I don’t disagree with what you say in the slightest. I don’t think love and the ability to cope with not being together have anything to do with each other. That’s why I specifically pointed out that this is about me, about how I feel in this situation. If I sounded defensive it was because I am aware of how many people find any kind of emotional response to be wrong/offensive/silly etc.

    Two friends of ours are currently physically separated because she is in China for three months and he is here. It’s very difficult for him (and her), but perhaps less so than it would be for me – but that doesn’t mean they don’t love each other as deeply as Verena and I do. As I said in my first post, to claim such a thing would be preposterous.

    But I do think it is valid to be unhappy about being separated, and to feel real pain. There’s a lot of people – and our friends had a similar experience – who think it is utterly inappropriate to actually be sad, or to really long for your partner. They insist that you must always think of yourself as an individual, not part of a greater whole, that you must not be “enslaved” by love, that it’s just a relationship, and so on. That’s what I was talking about, those are the people I think are wrong-headed and sad.

  6. I still belive you are seeing things from a narrow perspective. I mean first of all, If you are your love, then you are your hate, your anger and your despair too. I mean you cannot say you are your love without considering the other poles of the human experience, when you consider the other emotions as valid (and integral to the human being) then you are denying the mere possibility of someone getting carried away by his emotions, even positive ones. and to this day the greatest tragedies, dramas and poems are written in the name of that worse case scenario.

    love is not a totally good experience, we are not saints, or iluminated beings to experience platonic exemplar love. I dont know, maybe Buddhist teachings can explain a little bit what Im trying to say. Love, the kind of love that doesn’t let you be at ease when you are not with your loved one, Its a extreme. the very same extreme an angry scorned man have when killing the guy who take his wife away.

    I mean, doesn’t love suppose to give you peace?

    then if It’s doesn’t, what set that emotion apart from Hate?, belive me iv’e seen people get piece of mind out of hate, its a horrible thing to see, but sure as hell it worked for him. ¿how about that?

    “Ye of confusing apostrophe usage” XD, allright, good one, yes my apostrophe usage suck big time, but that’s because im from a spanish speaking contry, chile by the way, the one with the big 8.8 richter earthquake a few weeks ago, so yes, i`ve kinda seen a lot of extreme emotions over here, acts of kindess and shameless acts of abuse too, so i’ve been kinda stuck thinking about this issues nowadays.

    all I’m saying, consider the whole human experience, dont get mesmerised with the seemingly positive ones.

  7. (I’m not a Buddhist. In fact, I am not terribly fond of Buddhist philosophy. I don’t seek peace, because peace is an end state, and I think our search for end states is just a way of trying to shut out the world. Process is everything.)

    I don’t see what the existence of hate says about the existence of love. People can be good and they can be bad, but why should we discourage the good because of the existence of the bad? You could shoot yourself in the head and you could go out and create art, but I’m always going to suggest creating art. And I’m also not going to suggest moderation, because that’s absurd – why be moderate at something good? The same kind of logic leads to people saying things like “The extreme left and the extreme right are really just the same thing.” It’s nonsense.

    I don’t think love is supposed to give you peace – if you equate peace with stillness, that is. It can give you comfort, and joy, and passion, and anger, and all sorts of emotions, and these emotions will come and go and build upon each other in immeasurably complex ways. Because love is not a static state, it is not something you reach and then have, it is a process, a living thing.

    And if you refrain from loving fully, you will lose more than you will gain, because you will not really love at all. You will be denying yourself. And if a relationship does not allow you to love fully, you should probably reconsider the relationship.

    I’m sorry about the earthquake, by the way – that must be terrible. Growing up in Greece, I always lived with the fear of earthquakes, and I know how much destruction they can cause. I wish the rest of the world would be a lot more helpful in situations like this.