Thursday, June 19, 2008

"... something about the duality of man… The Jungian thing, sir" - Joker

In the comment thread below, my friend Leonidas offered an alternative to the dark madness of Poe. "Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam"-- "The brief sum of life forbids us the hope of enduring long". Both are a little dark I think. But I agree, life is short, why spend it crying over spilled milk, right? But "forever" is supposed to mean "forever" (however long that is) , not just until I'm tired of living up to my commitment to another. If "forever" is what I promised, "forever" is what I should give. It's what I was prepared to give and would give still. But the one thing I was supposed to be able to count on, I can no longer count on. So what can I count on? The "duality of man"?? The collective unconscious wins over the personal every time. Divorce has become way too easy and way too common. Pay some money, sign some papers, bada bing bada bang. You're free. Does anybody stand for anything anymore? Was I raised in a fairy tale?

One need only go back about a year to see a post similar to these. It was at that time that I saw divorce as imminent. We separated briefly but even then, I held on to hope. And reconciliation came against all odds. The past year has been pretty happy, at least for one of us. I fancy myself an intelligent fellow. Am I that easily duped? Or did I just want it to be so badly that I would lie to myself to make it so? Either way, reality has slammed down on me like a ton of bricks. Which is OK except for the fact that I never saw it coming.

I guess what's different this time is the finality of it all... its conclusiveness. For the first time in 18 years of marriage, I feel no urge to fight to hold everything together. I have acknowledged its inevitability without yet accepting. I don't even know how I got here. My head is spinning trying to make sense of it all but there's no sense to be made. Painful in many ways, I'm not sure what hurts more, "missing her" or "not being missed by her". Both are a knife in the gut.

Quoting "dark" poetry isn't my way of pouting. It's just a way of summing up into someone else's eloquently stated words, an emotion I'm not all too familiar with. In "The Raven", Poe lamented over his lost "Lenore" and his ending was indeed bleak. But I thought that particular verse appropriate given my state of mind at the time. The "aloneness" can be crushing at times. I know there is light over the horizon but for now, I see no horizon. So onward through the dark I tread, fearing all the while, the horizon will never come. "Hopeless" seems to sum it up for today.

"Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.

Justice the founder of my fabric mov'd:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.

Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.
All hope abandon ye who enter here."

(sounds better in Italian)

Of course Dante was talking about "hell"... Sounds a bit like "divorce". Or was it marriage??