Archives for October, 2012
You are what you love, and not what loves you back.—Jenny Lewis This is a lyric from a ditty by Jenny Lewis, and it has has taken my brain hostage. This little quote, the song's hook, is on a tape loop in my head. Lewis is singing about a stuck, mutually exploitive relationship, but I keep finding different shades of nuance in this quote. You are what you love, and not what loves you back. In a way, it’s a torch song. I’ll love him forever even if he never loves back, because he is part of my soul. It gives a little nobility to unrequited love. You are what you love, and not what loves you back. What attracts you? Who do you fall for when you fall in love? That person is mirror of your needs and self image, whether or not the love is reciprocated.
At least I’m not internally decapitated. Thanks to my husband for this one. I remember exactly the context in which we first heard the term “internally decapitated,” but out of respect, I will leave that out of this discussion. I don’t mean to be flip. But wouldn’t you agree that internal decapitation sounds like a huge, gigantic, monumental bummer? I mean—you’re alive, yes. And that’s good. Your story isn’t over, as it would be with external decapitation. But still… Internal decapitation. Yikes. Makes a regular crappy day sound like happyfacerainbowsallthetime, don’t it?
Would raising children make the best use of what you bring to the world, or would not having kids do that? – Carolyn Hax As Oprah used to say, frequently, raising kids is the hardest job in the world. And I don’t argue with that. (I wouldn’t dare.) But choosing not to have kids has challenges of a different kind--not the least of which is censure from a segment of society that assumes you must be selfish, self-centered, or in arrested development. My husband and I are childless by choice and have some very good reasons for this, which are none of your beeswax. Fortunately, I am past the age where people want to debate our decision with me, but you can’t imagine how tiresome that was. Here’s a hint, people: Asking someone who has chosen not to have kids if she fears regretting the decision someday is uncool. Duh. It's not like we haven't considered that. Would you ask a woman who does have kids if she fears regretting that decision? Not having children is challenging in that your life is not mapped out for you according to the needs of your children. You have to take full responsibility for your own life trajectory, which can be oddly daunting. And you have nothing to distract you from complicated adult relationships. I know a lot of marriages crack under the pressure of parenting, but a lot of other relationships probably last because of the needs and distractions of children. But I really like the quote from Carolyn Hax, part of a response to someone wondering how to decide about having children, because she acknowledges that some of us are better off contributing something other than our DNA to the world.
Life is a cabaret.—Fred Ebb Hey, sad sack! Yeah, you. You know something? You’re kinda getting on my nerves. This whole Eeyore thing? No fun at all. Do you even know how to have fun? Do you know what brings you joy? Or are you going to trudge through life like it’s a chore? Stop it. Life is a cabaret, my friend. A goddam cabaret. So come on. Hurry up. Join the fun. Oh, I'm sympathetic to depression, tragedy, and hard times. I've wrestled with all those things. But the key word is "wrestled." I fight back. I fight back hard. And fighting back includes finding joy. Finding it. Not waiting for it. I’m on a solo road trip this week. Yesterday I was in Nebraska. That’s right. Nebraska. And it was a friggin' cabaret.
The opposite of loneliness is not togetherness, it's intimacy ― Richard Bach I’ve never read Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and probably even mocked it back in the day, when it came out. It just sounded so silly. But here is a very wise quote from its author. Of course. Doesn’t everyone know the feeling of being lonely in a crowd? (Does everyone? Or is this more of an introvert thing?) You needn't be alone to be lonely. Intimacy is the opposite of loneliness, I get that. But that takes me only halfway to enlightenment. The trouble is, I can’t put my finger on what intimacy is. It’s one of those words that I understand on a cellular level, but struggle to define.
I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my...
If one’s bowels move, one is happy; and if they don't move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it. -- Lin Yutang Nice to hear the secret of life boiled down to crap, eh? I don't know the quote's context except that it came from a book called The Importance of Living. And according to one review of the book, "Lin Yutang’s ideal is the ‘scamp’ – an amiable loafer who wanders through life, learning, loving, living. " And sure, I can see this as a credo for that sort of carefree fellow. Actually, I think Dean Martin has said something similar. And he was nothing if not a scamp. It's refreshing attitude. So simple. So free from angst and navel gazing and rumination. Happiness is a warm..never mind.
Nothing ever changes if nothing ever changes. PsychCentral asked people on their Facebook page for their favorite motivational quotes and this one came up a couple of times. I’ve never heard it before and I like it. I tend to get frustrated with people who complain about problems without ever doing anything different to fix them. There’s a sort of wishful/magical thinking about that, as if a problem should simply respond to your discontent and solve itself because you want it to. My frustration is actually totally uncool. Unkind. People are naturally resistant to change. Of course they would rather gripe. It’s only natural. Change is hard. Inertia is very powerful. But is that true for everyone all the time?
Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye. -- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.* Certainly what makes us love is often invisible to the eyes of others. How often have you said, “I don’t know what she sees in him.” (Or vice versa, of course.) No, you don’t. You can’t. Love is intensely personal. And sometimes even the lovers themselves can't see the why behind the emotion.