Saturday, June 4, 2011

Romance

“From the lady’s hair, the great dragon is connected to.” Chinese proverb

I am a romantic. Definitions are of course in order when dealing with this admission. While I refuse to touch or get anywhere close to any romance novel, I admit that I watch tearjerkers on video (but never on a movie house). I have watched Dear John, The Notebook, Pearl Harbor as well as other movies  that fit this genre... and I've cried during those moments when real love seemed apparent. I am not ashamed of this fact. I think that it is a normal reaction to what is depicted on screen and despite the vehement denial from other men, I know they feel the same. (Save perhaps that we always cheer for the underdog, like for Josh Hartnett’s character in Pearl Harbor and we do tend to hate the women who cannot be loyal (like the lead in Dear John)). And I have a love affair with the pen which makes me lean towards that end. Poetry and romance will always go hand in hand even when tugging at each other on opposite directions


I think that I know and understand romance just enough to sometimes wonder if I am sacrificing a lot for not even trying to give love a chance. Like everyone else, I pine for someone who will hold my hand forever. Going home to an empty room, I am often struck with the utter realization that there is no one waiting for me; that there is no one that worries if I failed to take a jacket when the frost is biting outside; or for someone to mind me when I am struck down with the cold… the list is endless.

It is an innate human need, I think: the desire to love and be loved in return. To have someone who will make your heart race… to have someone to give flowers to… to have someone to take out to dinner…

Solitude can only do so much. That I know. There is a limitation to the ability of a single man to achieve happiness. Nothing can ever substitute for the love of a woman. I know that as a poet and as a human being. As much as I also know that love is both a curse and blessing.

The notion of romance however, is fading. Rarely do we see its true visage. Men and women’s eyes are clouded by other things. Lust in particular is often misconstrued as love. It is the single most devastating thing that has besmirched it’s purity. Sometimes, I even wonder if it has ever existed at all. Lust can never be a substitute… there is lust in romance but only as a consequence; never as a replacement.

Probably, the other culprit for the demise of romance is economics. Let’s face it: majority of modern marriages are built upon economic foundations; and even when romance is the foundation, the eroding element is economics. Practicality or the notion thereof, has removed most if not all of the romantic side to love. Husbands and wives and even children are economic pawns: mere data used for the pursuit of a perceived comfort. It has been the acid that has eaten away at any notion of passion. Most men and women, given the choice will choose a partner based on economic standing or the perception of such. Desire can be denied or repressed; but take away all the dressings and the false facades and you will see this ugly truth bared for all to see.


Probably another culprit is popular culture. We have placed love at a very high pedestal. We are constantly bombarded in movies and media about the notion of what love should be. We are given a set of criteria that we use to gauge whether we really are in love or not. Does he make your heart race? Does he occupy your dreams? Does she make you droll? Does she make you crazy things? As I’ve said in a previous paragraph, there is a very thin line that exists between love and lust or for that matter, infatuation. 

Of course, I am probably the last person to ask when it comes to love. I’ve never had any official relationships to talk about and though I fancy myself having fallen in love before, the passage of time has eroded those emotions away which makes me doubt if what I've felt then was love in the first place. And I hold the pure idealized version of romance as a poet. I can only conjure in my mind’s eye and in my heart that vision of passion which many will find inscrutable. This is the unspoken tragedy which befalls poets.

I am afraid of taking a woman to dinner because I am not sure where it leads to or what it means. I am comfortable with friends but when the possibility of friendship progressing into something deeper presents itself, I consciously withdraw and kill the emotion. I avoid any situation which might lead to the possibility of romance because even though I am drawn to its concept, I fear my own inadequacies in the matter. And I fear that towards the end if I chose to follow thru that it was never romance in the first place. The risk of not living up to the notion is the tragedy and I have no desire of subjecting someone else to that predicament.

And perhaps this is the reason I shun it. And the reason I chose the surrogacy presented by the same social media that I detest. I project myself in the characters of the silver screen. I fall in love and cry. The beating of my heart seem real and the tears they compel seem authentic. But at the end, when the credits roll, I also know that it was nothing more than a fleeting glimpse of something I will always be chasing... and denied....

2 comments:

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elstupe said...

Thank you!

More power to you!

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