Of Fortresses

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There is a romanticization of the difficult genius: someone prominent, skilled, and isolated – all too preoccupied and important to spare you a glance, to care; to even give common courtesy. The prominence or talent of such a person isn’t even the excuse for their behavior, but the reason behind it. These people have walls built from which they sit behind in solitary confinement. To be let in is a miracle; for them to express concern or ardor a privilege.

I know I’ve actively chased people with that line of thought. I know I’ve used it to my own advantage, thinking of my intellect as something that characterizes me as irreplaceable. I know I’ve snubbed many with the same concept.

But I’ve always wondered why we persist on knocking on doors that won’t open; on what grounds is love defined as fighting, over and over, for one to notice you’re worthy of care and attention. I’ve always wondered why we must punish others with purposeful indifference; distancing ourselves from love and emotion in exchange for the appreciation we crave. Now, you’ve seen what you’ve lost.

We love to build up walls. We love to try and break someone else’s; fighting to get an even ground with their preoccupations. In the end, we still, inevitably, get hurt – no matter what precautions taken, no matter how much we’ve exerted ourselves.

Still we ask: was it all worth it? To let my guard down; to chip away at the walls?

As if there was ever any security to the fortresses constructed out of ego and naivety; as if there was ever any triumph in a never-ending battle of love. As if the worth of all the actions you’ve taken could ever be concretely measured; as if it wasn’t something you could simply decide for yourself. And still, we keep playing the same old game.

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Photograph: Charlotte Bracegirdle (British, b. 1973, based London, England) – New York 1932, 2010  Acrylics on print source, image by Lucienne Bloch

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In quest

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Facades.

I never knew that the constant berating of my grade-school teachers being physically present and mentally absent in class could be true. It’s sad, really, to be all smiles while realizing the genuine you doesn’t really want to take part of the conversation. Or the entire social situation you’re in, for that matter. It’s sad to realize how superficial your so-called connections and friendships actually are; realizing you’ve been suppressing who you are just to get along. It doesn’t matter as much as I make it out to be, I suppose, but sometimes I wonder if we could all just drop all pretension and reach out. Talk – not of other people, but of ourselves; of not just our good days but our worst ones. To have conversations with meaning.

People say that it’s an eerie feeling to realize that every human being is experiencing a life as vivid as yours, but if the latter statement is true, then it’s disappointing. It’s either the fact that we’ve never thought to even have Tumblr-esque 3 AM conversations to show actual concern and emotion or we’re settling, letting questions of what-ifs drift in the air. Letting reluctance on whether or not to open up set in.

Or maybe it’s my ideals acting up. Meaning is processed, after all, and read between the lines. Maybe it’s not in the words said. Maybe in the light of the shallow gossip and laughter there’s the joy of company; of having someone to sit beside you patiently listening to your day; of the rushed euphoria of overlapping conversations and made memories. Maybe.

I could hope for that, at least.

Aside

There is no such thing as other halves. You do not love an other half; you do not love with only a half of yourself.

There is no such thing as completing each other. You may love an incomplete person, but they cannot fully love you back. You do not hold their missing pieces. They need to find those themselves. You may love while you are incomplete, but you have a greater need of yourself.

Love when you’ve learned its meaning through yourself. For it does not mean comfort. It means sacrifice and risks. It means putting aside what you want for the sake of what’s good. It means having courage and patience. It means being there for each other. How can you love a person fully, as they deserve to be, when you cannot be there for yourself? When you cannot sacrifice your comfort for your improvement? When you cannot face the challenges of your own mind?

How can you love and expect reciprocation from a person who do not love themselves? Love them, but be patient, for you cannot take it against them. Be there. Help them be strong. Watch them pick themselves up.

Love when you’re ready. Love when you’re whole.