Thursday, 11 August 2016

Sigh Once More

A heart is the origin of every torment, so said E. M. Cioran, a Romanian philosopher and essayist, to which I feel I must concur, and yet I know very little of heartbreak in the ordinary sense. I haven't been deceived, wronged or cheated upon; disappointed, yes, by people in the flesh and by my own suppositions which turned out to just that – with no basis in fact – and unrepresentative of situation or character.
The many sighs I have sighed have not been the sighs of thwarted love, but those of boredom and dissatisfaction...'of dumps so dull and heavy' as mentioned in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Mine are sighs of nothing, where nothing is to be done. And yet I will fall into these 'dumps' time and time again, where the focus then is my stupid, impossible, highly improbable notions, and how my mind, briefly and cunningly, tricked me, not to the belief of the existence of love or adultery but to themes of fight or flee. That both were possible to achieve in the manner I envisioned whether they might involve a new outlook or drastic changes.
Not so. It takes courage and that I don't have in abundance. To build castles in the sky, but not to actually act. On anything. Anything that requires taking a chance or journeying without some sort of map, however rough. Because if it all goes wrong I know I don't have the same resilience kids are blessed with that adults later destroy, and of which I carried over no residue into maturity. I've struggled to come back from detours, whether they be of my own idiotic making or forced.
Too much caution sullies most people: their inherent impulsiveness tempered by practicality, and then further dampened by anxiousness and second thoughts. Where everything, even the accomplish-able, becomes a brief window of nonsense in spite of any seriousness with which a plan might have been considered or discussed. And that also pertains to thoughts of love, particularly in what used to be called the 'courting' stage. Feelings for people, as Shakespeare demonstrated, can be influenced and changed.
Shakespeare's mischief-making was rampant; his romantic entanglements delighting audiences, still today, because of their absurdity and their harbingers of truths, the truths we often don't see unless removed from the principal scenes. In your own play however, you don't realise your own devilry or recognise those that come to cause it, not in the instant of it, and maybe not even when sounds of woe or blitheness subsequently follows. Then comes sighs of longing, sighs of vexation, and sighs that launch monologues, spoken as you pace about the room or stare upwards at the bedroom ceiling. And such sighing causes the heart to pine – for what was, what could have been, if only...
As philosophised, the heart is the root of every suffering because it refuses to learn how not to make its own disappointments. It rather seems to revel in its gullibility and the resulting fallouts; it enjoys the webs it weaves, especially when the mind, its rival, almost acts like a co-conspirator. They have an ongoing quarrel, these two, and yet both are similar in that they set traps: decide on a goal, a person, a thing in which the other differs. They bicker, they shout, they raise misgivings, they erase history or resurrect it, they make passionate and desperate pleas, and never agree. The outcome, as always or 99.9% of the time, is a impasse or a dismissal. The subject given a respite until circumstances favour it, or until such a moment when history wishes to repeat itself, to only reach the same conclusion.
This dispute is lamentable, and yet the heart and mind remains reverently faithful in this discordant marriage.

Picture credit: The Pained Heart AKA Sigh No More, 1868, Arthur Hughes