War (What is it Good For?)

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In times of lost love, the pieces that make us human vie for control of our actions...

The conscious mind, fueled by Id and executed by Ego, tells us that clean breaks are possible. She says to dust off our hands and move on, to revel in the new freedom, the sea of potential mates and make-outs. With Id at the helm we are capable of finding moments where our charm and personality shine. She tells us we don’t need to mourn loss, that it’s over and that there is no sense in being upset. Party, fuck, drink and get back to your old ways – there is nothing to keep you from doing so.

The subconscious says otherwise. She likes to haunt you, lurking in the smiles and warmth of others as a reminder to what was recently lost. Every pure giggle, every new touch may appease the Id, but confuses and infuriates the subconscious. The subconscious wants time to mend. She wants time to reflect, lament and to pour out the last drippings of remorse, self-loathing and despair. She wants to come to terms with blame and wrong-doing. She wants time to quell our wariness of strangers. When we fall too quickly under the spell of the Id, she reminds us to slow down.

Bouncing between the two makes it hard to understand what we’re really feeling.

There are good and bad days, of course. Good and bad nights – those of good sleep, deep sleep, and nights that produce dreams that haunt you throughout the following day. Today was the first of such days. I remember Rachel packing, but the apartment was much bigger and brighter. When she was done, she left. The whole thing happened a few times. Each time I just watched. In one instance I helped. We stood there looking at each other. The power in the haste of our decisions, the ease of our connection, was all gone. It is almost 12 hours since I woke up this morning and I can see those moments now as a reflection of the last weeks we spent together: as shells going through motions, unsure of how to move forward through mistakes, through stress and minimal time together. Whatever terrible things happen in a relationship – from saying things we don’t mean, to not knowing how to understand each other, to impatience and exhaustion – they occur between two people. Either those people have the tools and will to adapt and work through it, or they do not.

Dealing with life in the time that follows, stuck in the middle of a war fought by the pieces that drive our decision-making, is a time of being unsure and scared, free and – strangely – sometimes hopeful. We always come out the other side, slightly remolded by new spoils. With new wisdom and experience we are both hardened in some ways, and softened in others. Either way, life goes on. We have to choose to learn or not.

“Hence we conclude, no women's hearts
Are won by virtue, wit, and parts:
Nor are the men of sense to blame,
For breasts incapable of flame;
The faults must on the nymphs be placed,
Grown so corrupted in their taste.“

- Jonathan Swift, Cadenus and Vanessa

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