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Saturday, January 28, 2006

New beginnings

In a break-up situation, an old friend writes with good advice to all those who face the end of relationships with sadness:

> Time works wonders, but it is the lessons one tries to figure out about love that
> eat the energy.

Wicked good advice.

Who, in our generation, hasn't wasted hours belittling themselves against the specter of some fearsome love-that-was, wondering what they did wrong to lose that partner, who intervened, the ghosts of former relationships, and how they could have avoided the pain at encounters thereafter?

Come to think of it, before the days of youth culture and self-help, who ever thought that screening for mates was an opportunity for improving one's moral self except Goethe?

The family was supposed to be the major site of moral improvement. One eventually found a mate who matched the morals of the family. Changing one's morals for the mate, or changing because of courtship -- an absurd and romantic notion.

One gets involved with others in the first place partially because of the mutual reflection and self-knowledge that accrues from discourse. It's brave and right to want to treat others well. It's worthy of speculation. But maybe the ends and beginnings are not the time for this kind of reflection.

I sincerely wish him well: maybe I also wish for both of us the grace to not think too hard about what went wrong.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Following a divorce, I spent years wondering what I did: no one told me I might never know, and no one told me I might have done nothing. Instead the wondering itself produced its own grayness, lessened the happiness of others, and consumed the energy that I know now I needed. It is fine to think about one's mistakes, things done and left undone, but not fine to ponder one's failures too much.

5:35 PM  

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