Thursday, February 10, 2011
Love of Tragedy
Around Valentine's Day, everyone seems to gush about love. They remember how they met their significant other, they rejoice in the fact they found love, or they get a game plan as to how to find a new love. Yes, love is in the air. And I, too, take a moment to be grateful for the love I'm lucky to have--from lover to friend.
But...when I see paper hearts, I think about how easy they tear.
I wouldn't say I'm a negative person, exactly. I'd say I'm the type to appreciate the phoenix cycle of life. I don't look at the pretty bird and ignore the burning or the ash. There, in the searing and the soot, lies the forgotten heart. Life's natural fertilizer for future love. Tragedy.
Inside every story I cannot forget, within the pages of every book that sticks in my head and inspires me, is a tragedy that has made my heart hurt, my eyes sting, and my throat constrict with emotion. And in that sorrow I feel...alive.
Is there any moment better in a book? The hero and heroine were torn apart. One of them dies while the other watches in despair, struggling to overcome the grief that comes with total loss. You're clutching the book (or your e-reader) and flipping through the pages, wanting to know more, needing to get to the point of happiness where the two souls meet again, and this time, get it right. Or how about the hero losing his wife, and walking around in a bleak existence...until he meets a woman who makes him feel again. Powerful.
Perhaps these stories are why I often find myself reflecting back to relationships that might've been. Not because I'm looking to repair what went wrong (though I do find that exercise worthwhile in writing), but because they've made me realize, without those losses, I wouldn't have experienced living life to the fullest, finding the strength within myself to heal, and triumphing over the trials of heartbreak.
What do you think? Does love taste sweeter after tragedy?
In my opinion, yes! I've loved, deeply, more than once. I've lost the best, discarded the worst, and will never forget the love that was cut off before it had time to reach it's full potential. I carry these tragedies around in my heart like a portable graveyard, and I get to revisit the tombs every time an author writes a passage that screams against the injustice of love. It's a bitter and beautiful reconnection.
Instead of resenting sorrow and loss, I'm encouraged and invigorated. I hug my Love tighter, I squeeze every drop of happiness out of every second I can. Because for me, tragedy is the pavement on the road to the next bliss.
So on this V-Day, don't just stare lovingly into the eyes of your love, take a moment to remember the grief that got you there, and experience the kind of gratitude some never feel.
By the way...If you look around and find yourself alone, just remember--you're on your path. In the future, this moment will be the ash you rose from.
May you all continue to be inspired to move forward.