Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Illusion of Love

I watched "Must Love Dogs" last night, a film essentially about finding 'the one' and then tonight as I was washing dishes I watched "One Tree Hill". I usually stop on it for at least a little while when surfing because of Chad Michael Murray. No! Not because I think he's dreeeeeamy but because I worked with him on "The Lone Ranger" when I still lived in L.A. - BE (Before Exile). It's that loyalty for no reason thing, and because he is genuinely a nice guy. OK, he's a little dreamy.

Annnnnyway, as I'm washing dishes I'm thinking this show is all about who's doing who, except it's more than that, it's about who's falling in love with whom. Clearly, it's aimed at teenage girls... But so many shows and movies come down to that one magical thing; love. Who doesn't want to be loved! I mean, come on, it's fundamental. But I realized that it is also an illusion. Love, more than anything else really can give you a sense of well being that goes beyond temporary. It's good to feel loved. It's good to love. But the message, when love is portrayed in movies and television (and I am generalizing here), seems to be the only work you need to do is to FIND it. Then you're done. Satisfaction for the rest of your life. (OK, I know one shouldn't really be philosphizing over a sink full of dishes and normally I don't do them at all, but my dishwasher is in Santa Barbara at the moment. S.O.'s working making money for the family, work that is non-existent here in the desert during the summertime, so I am playing single mom for three weeks. Washing dishes just takes way too long, too much time to think!)

But that is the illusion isn't it? That is the destructive force, that idea, that it's couldn't be that you stopped appreciating your loved one, or started acting disrespectful or taking them for granted (because when you treat someone poorly you subconsciously feel bad, and when you feel bad about the way you have behaved your psyche tends to try to find the path of least resistence which is find the person you have mistreated deplorable for some reason and therefore justify your mistreatment). No, it's that they are not 'the one'. You have 'stopped loving them' you don't know why you just did and can't anyone tell that is not your own fault! You know, I get that love fades and sometimes doesn't stand up to life. I mean, hell I've been divorced twice! I do get that.

It's just that I think there are destructive and distracting ideas about love that float around the world. It is great to be in love but it is not the only thing that can give one a sense of well being. And frankly, I think there is so much focus on 'love' and finding it, and the right 'one' that there is less energy left for all the other parts of life. There are lots of things that can give you that sense of well being; music, eating, laughing... There are also many things in this world that need our attention.

I guess, I just get annoyed that the real struggles don't seem to be portrayed. And maybe it's because we can't figure out how. Many of life's other struggles are internal and have more to do with fighting your own demons than embracing someone else. It has always been the same of course. Finding love is the most titilating part of the story and has been memorialized in every kind of human expression there is... the rest is... work.


Anonymous said...

I think that even when other stuggles are portrayed, they get wrapped in love. I just read a book that I didn't really like called "The Mermaid chair" about a woman who's finally coming into herself (often labelled a mid life crisis) and she has an affair. That's actually what made me not like the book... is that the fascinating struggle about her finding herself while decades deep into a marraige and an identity as a mother gets wrapped in this sexual encounter with a monk, of all things.

(Doesn't it sound like one of those Harlequin Romance novels with Fabio on the cover? Nope, this was supposed to be literature....which I'm not sure exists anymore) Anyway, but I do suppose that love or something that looks and acts like it can be a trigger to much needed perspective.

But you are so right. The real work of life comes after the thrill is gone. There's a great song by Lyle Lovett called "What do you do?". It's a duet with an amazing woman whose name is escaping me. She sings what the man would say "Bring me the paper, pour me a beer, turn on the tv, sweep up over here. You can tell me you love me and put off my blues, but what do you do, when it quits being news?" He sings for her "You be home for supper and don't slam that door and you better be sober man or I'll give you what for. You can tell me you love to put off my blues, but what do you do, when it quits being news?" It's a rockin song about the truth of the matter that life goes on, daily struggle goes on after we fall in love. but with a catchy beat. Which rhymes with heat! Enjoy your single mother summer! - Arianna

demondoll said...

It's just so much easier to sell the fairy tale than the ongoing ups and downs of a long lived relationship. Me, I kind of prefer the stories after romance is "won", but mebbe we're in the minority now.

Yella said...

Well, and I think no one really has a firm grasp on the after. I mean we all struggle mightily with it, no matter how well suited we are to each other, shared interests, etc... forget the 'love' part, that's almost irrelevant. Love in and of itself never did anything.

Maybe it's too disheartening to talk about the after because it makes us all feel so normal and that first surge of love, the falling in love part, makes us feel special