Friday, March 26, 2010

I want to love and live like the ancients.

It’s difficult to describe that moment when you connect with a piece of art. I get it with words but I know it can happen with music or photography or sculpture. I’m talking about that moment when you engage with somebody else’s work and it’s describing your own life. To be clearer it’s the perfect break up song, the one where ALL the lyrics match instead of the one where you have to pretend you were in love with a girl named Delilah. (P.S. Best ever break up song- You Am I, Heavy Heart, seriously.)

We can all agree that the subject matter of a large majority of creative endeavors is love. It’s a topic that we can relate to, in one-way or another. For me it’s the heartbreak stories. I have this habit of reading a book or listening to a song or looking at a photo that’s a positive representation of love and thinking, “yeah I get it, it’s cute, and now ‘let me count the ways’ it could fail”. It’s the lost love that speaks to me. There’s just something so genuine about torment.

There’s a melancholic beauty to reading a verse of text that describes the precise way in which you feel like total shit. When it seems like whoever wrote it must have had their heart ripped out in exactly the same manner as you.

I think the reason I relate to these bleeding hearts is because I know what it’s like to write about being hurt. That little blinking cursor is ready to hear what you have to say. There’s nobody to offer clichéd advice or question your decision making skills after you drunk dialed someone that everyone knows doesn’t want you. You get to choose all the dramatic words that you like and to act like it’s the end of the world. You are able to say everything you never said and everything that wasn’t listened to. It’s cathartic and there’s nothing else like it.

Recently I haven’t been able to find a lot of inspiration for my personal writing. And I can’t help but wonder if the writer’s block is a symptom of too many healthy relationships. I am happy. It doesn’t seem to require much embellishment and you don’t get to use nearly enough swear words when you’re writing about loving life.

I can archive nearly every piece of my private writing in relation to a boy. One lover was even something of a sick muse who treated me very badly and provided me with words like ammunition.

Does this mean my writing is only useful as a healing tool? Does it mean I whine too much? I probably do. But I miss feeling the pen like an extension of myself and the ink like my own sweat and tears. Am I a literary masochist?

It can be incredibly difficult to cast your gaze outwards and upwards. For example it’s sad but it’s often much easier to remember the worst thing a person ever said to you rather than the best. It’s even more miserable that it’s always easier to remember the worst thing a person’s ever done to you rather than the worst thing we ourselves have done to another. We’re so intent on our own suffering.

And then being in a good relationship is completely terrifying because there’s no one left to blame. We collect all these bad experiences over the years and then all of a sudden it can seem so difficult to be loved. Because maybe you haven’t had enough practice.

I see those that I love giving pieces of themselves away to people that don’t deserve them. When do you get to the point where there aren’t enough pieces left to make a whole?

I guess I’m writing this to say there’ll always be a story about a broken heart, but I wish it never had to be yours.

So you too are a fan of the modern woman, that poor hysterical little female, who, in somnambular pursuit of her dream, her masculine ideal, fails to appreciate the best man and who, amid tearful fits, neglects her Christian duties every day, cheating and being cheated on, constantly seeking and choosing and rejecting, never happy never making anybody happy, and cursing fate instead of calmly admitting: ‘I want to love and live like the ancients’.

(Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Venus in Furs)

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