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Saturday, 17 September 2011

The cure for pain is in the pain

A simple old widow pottering around in her flower garden.  A young couple sucking each others face off next to me on the train. (Well not precisely, though if you think of Dementors, THAT would be close enough...) 
The two juxtaposed made me think about love and how absurd and beautiful the whole affair is.
It was around 9:30am this morning that I was catching the train to the city.  The couple were in their late teens to early 20's...canoodling, fondling, pecking each other on the cheek, talking lowly to each other, and then making loud exclamations "ooh, you're such an idiot, bleep bleep" and then more fondling.  Etcetera etcetera.  Meanwhile I was sitting there feeling like a cynical old woman.  "Will it last?"  I thought quite darkly to myself.  Will.it.last.  "After all", I thought as well, "all those love chemicals (vasopresin, oxytocin, phenylephrine to name a few) are going to wear off after a while, and THEN what will you do?"   Apparently that's why most marriages fail - because those love chemicals that induce euphoric, hyper-sexual and idealised ideas and feelings fade.  Does that make most people love drug addicts, who, upon getting 'withdrawal symptoms' (i.e. no more sexy time), leave and move on to their next "lover"?   Isn't that what I see all the time with people like, for example, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie?  
The real tragedy is that whatever makes love last...appears to be the holy grail of this world, lost, obscure, hard to find.  But I think the cure for the pain is in the pain.  To not run from the fact that our sexy feelings fade, to not be pleasure seekers, seeking immediate stimulation that will only deliver an ephemeral, shallow kind of relief.  And probably ruin peoples lives as well.  But to ask 'why?'  To maintain that inquisitive state of mind, or to seek after it again, after it was culled in childhood in most of us in one way or another.  Because if we don't think, if we don't understand ourselves, if we don't immerse ourselves in that pain and really think about how it will help us, why/how it occurred...we'll be sitting on the merry-go-round of despair for the rest of our lives.  Full circle.  Endless loop.  Continuous cycle of that same problem, over and over.  
I looked at that old woman and saw how alone she was after I came back from the city.  Isn't that the fate of most of us?  The old woman is just like the old lady Mavis who used to lived near me.  Except she's dead.  She was alone as well, and when she died everything she ever possessed was auctioned off to a hungry crowd of people, waiting to accumulate possessions that will only get auctioned off again, or break or rot.  All of which they think will some how make them truly happy.  But if Mavis took nothing to the grave, so will they.  Both loved, but if their love didn't die, their lover did in the end.  

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