Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Quote Of The Week

Nay, of the century!

“This is the tyranny of marriage: the vows which bind us allow us to become our worst selves. Thrown dishes, slammed doors, faces contorted like an infant’s—all part of the contract. No one tells us this. No one tells us that the only unconditional love in this world is between parent and child…. But passion between a man and a woman is finite. If it lasts a thousand days, count yourself among the lucky….

There [is] no loneliness like marriage.”


—Dani Shapiro, Picturing The Wreck

* * * * *

The above was quoted by Gordon Livingston, M.D., in his excellent book, And Never Stop Dancing. The book is a collection of thirty truths “about life and how best to live it.” The quote appears in the chapter entitled, “Marriage ruins a lot of good relationships”. And the point of the chapter is simple: Dr. Livingstone refutes the idea that marriage or any intimate relationship is hard work and that there are endless compromises. He says that at the heart of a meaningful relationship is an astute choice of partner who’s “got ample reserves of kindness and a willingness to place us in the center of his or her life” plus cultivating in ourselves the same virtues. And the irony there is that if the choice is astute, then a relationship is an endless, effortless renewal of joy.

It’s so deceptively simple. Jumping into a relationship because of a need to be in one is a mistake most people commit (the younger the person, the more likely). We have to remind ourselves that this need to connect with others is something we all can achieve easily, but committing to an exclusive arrangement is something only fools rush in.

I especially so agree with the line, “No one tells us that the only unconditional love in this world is between parent and child”. Give your parents a hug tonight.

And since I started on a quote, let me end by quoting the Carpenters’ song “I Need To Be In Love”, a song so full of melancholy and irony. Enjoy.

The hardest thing I’ve ever done is keep believing
there’s someone in this crazy world for me.
The way that people come and go through temporary lives,
my chance could come and I might never know.

I used to say, “No promises, let’s keep it simple”,
but freedom only helps you say goodbye.
It took a while for me to learn that nothing comes for free.
The price I paid is high enough for me.

I know I need to be in love.
I know I’ve wasted too much time.
I know I ask perfection of a quite imperfect world,
and fool enough to think that’s what I’ll find.

So here I am with pockets full of good intentions,
but none of them will comfort me tonight.
I’m wide awake at 4 a.m. without a friend in sight—
I’m hanging on a hope, but I’m all right.

2 comments:

R-yo said...

I knew the song, but never what it meant, until now. Tell me, how many are we singing this song? :-)

joelmcvie said...

@R-YO: I've stopped singing that song a long, long time ago... in a galaxy far, far away.... =)