Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stop Thinking

I have been thinking way too much.  It's both good and bad.  Good because it's me, it's what I do.  Bad because it often serves as a reminder of the truth of my life at the moment and for the future.  Reality isn't a horrible and depressing thing, it's just, if I lose the romantic side of me (the dreamer), can be.

"'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."  - Alfred Lord Tennyson (In Memoriam)

That statement is one that I've often quoted, or heard quoted, in my lifetime.  Fairly regularly it has been posed as a question instead of a stated fact.  I must admit that until this week I always thought that I agreed.  However, now I am uncertain and it bugs me to say the least.  It bothers me because I can neither firmly say I agree or that I disagree.  What's up with that?

It wasn't until a few days ago that I discovered (through research) where the quote originated.  Alfred Lord Tennyson.  Alfred was the poet laureate of the United Kingdom during the time of Queen Victoria's reign.  Oddly enough he took the title of poet laureate after the death of another poet that I love, William Wordsworth.  Wordsworth penned one of my favourite poems, "Daffodils".

Tennyson penned the now famous line that I quoted above, in the 27th canto of his poem/work titled 'In Memoriam'.  Alfred finished this piece in 1849.  It was written as a requiem to one of his closest friends that died of a cerebral hemorrhage when he was in his early 30s.  This piece took 17 years to complete and is a testament to the internal (and eternal) struggle and soul-searching that Tennyson was experiencing over this time.  Something that you come to understand very intimately when you yourself have lost a loved one.

While searching the roots of this famous saying, I decided to read 'In Memoriam'.  Honestly, I have yet to finish it.  But the first few Cantos floored me.  The depth of his writing, pain, and emotions are so incredibly rich.  I found myself wishing that I was in school again; wishing that I was in a class whose sole purpose was dissecting apart this work piece by piece.  And so I will.  Eventually.  Perhaps it's in one of the many poetry books that I own.  If so, I can picture myself laying on a blanket by the lake, reading and writing till my hearts content.

In the end, I always thought I'd rather know love and lose it, than to never know it at all.  I have a friend who was married and had a child, then the husband died.  He was her love.  She lost him and has spent her life raising her children, and now she's alone.  That is so sad to me.  I always thought I'd rather have that than what I've had at this point...which is, well, nothing.  But, as I realized on yet another dark night of me entering my house, late and alone, maybe this is best for me. 

I have no one to worry if I don't come home at night.  I have no one to check in when I work late hours.  I have no one to care if my day was crap.  I have no one to help me, care for me, worry over me (or with me), assist me, be annoyed by (or with) me...I have nothing.  I have me and my two cats.  It's sad.  But I wonder if it would be harder to deal with if I *had* had those things at some point...

The closest comparison would be my Mom.  We used to talk every day, whether I wanted to or not.  She always cared how I was or where I was.  I miss that now that she's gone.  Ironically, I am so thankful that I *did* have that, have *her*, in my life.  So does that mean I'd rather have and lose than not have and not lose?  I honestly don't know anymore.

"'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."


Alesa Warcan said...

Your friends worry and care about you. You've posted about them; they rally when you need help.

Heck, even I in my limited and distant way care about. You aren't entirely alone. : j

I think that it's not about choosing to love or not to. I doubt there's a single answer to such a thing.
I do think that to be happy we need to appreciate what we have while we have it... we need to do so while staying ready to seize opportunities as they present themselves to us... and all that while weathering the storms that cross our paths.

Heidi said...

It's true. I really am lucky to have the friends that I do. With all that blood testing and stuff, recently, when I needed their help and prayers, they (yet again) were there; loving me. I count myself blessed to have the people in my life that I do. Including my blog friends, like you! :)

You're absolutely right. I think that was the shocker that my mind was butting up against. For so long I just believed that it was cut and dry, plain and simple, black and white. When really it is not. Life is none of those things. It is an adventure. It may never be what you've dreamed it to be, but that doesn't make it bad, or even wrong for that matter. It just makes it...another chapter in our book! :)

Alesa Warcan said...

Right on, right on! ; j

Hope you enjoy your concert tonight.