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#207576 - 02/26/08 04:35 PM Absolutes
VLinvictus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris?
Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior

-- C. Valerius Catullus

It all would be so simple in a world of absolutes,
All right and wrong and black and white, no messy shades of gray.
If everyone were wholly good or evil through and through
I wouldn’t be so torn by doubt, regret, and pain today.
I wish I could just hate you for the way you’ve treated me,
The things you’ve done and, even more, the things you failed to do.
But when I think about the times we shared a happy day
My righteous indignation fails – I still do care for you.

And so I’m stretched out on the rack – hanged, drawn and quartered, too.
The past holds fast and pulls me back with chains of memory
As every loving word and act becomes a scolding voice:
“Things weren’t so bad. You had it good! How selfish can you be?”
The scars, however, in my soul will not let me forget
That lips that kiss can also curse and each rose has its thorn.
Why couldn’t you decide to be a Jekyll or a Hyde?
I hate and love you -- now my heart is caught, confused, and torn.


_________________________
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

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#207594 - 02/26/08 07:45 PM Re: Absolutes [Re: VLinvictus]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
VL,

Geez, what a great poem. I think you catch so perfectly the problem that guys face when they have been abused by a loved one. I hope you find your own answer.

And cool quote from Catullus. \:\) So you must know Anachreon:

Ἐρέω τε δηὖτε κοὐκ ἐρέω,
καὶ μαίνομαι κοὐ μαίνομαι

I love, but do I really? Maybe not. Am I mad? Maybe, but maybe not. What if I am both, or neither?

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#207657 - 02/27/08 12:21 AM Re: Absolutes [Re: roadrunner]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
VL you capture the ambivalance of relationships. That is why we make covenant marriages. For better or worse, sickness or in health till death do we part. My marriage has suffered some serious damage due to my CSA acting out but we are still here after 19 years because we vowed we would be no matter what. That poem is beautifully written and could fit Patti and I on several occasions. In the end it has drawn us closer to each other and there is a huge security in that committment. Yes I do so understand that poem and I am so greatful to my wife for hanging in their trough the tough times.
Thank you for that reminder


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#207745 - 02/27/08 11:39 AM Re: Absolutes [Re: Freedom49]
VLinvictus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
Freedom,

You bring up an interesting topic on the idea of covenants.

A covenant is like a contract: to be valid, both parties have to be equally aware of the terms and conditions and freely agree to it. However, if the terms are not spelled out and if one party is not at the same level of maturity as the other, is the contract valid?

Covenant, of course, brings up Biblical imagery.

The first covenant in Torah is that between God and Noah after the flood. That's pretty much a one-way transaction. God has just destroyed the world and spared Noah, so Noah's not really in a position to bargain. God gives some basic rules and promises not to destroy the world again.

The second covenant is that with Abraham. God tells him to leave Ur and go to the land that He will show him, and Abraham does. God tells him to "walk in My ways and be blameless" and he did so. Abraham freely choses to make a covenant with God and God freely pledges to bless him and his descendants.

The third covenant is the covenant at Sinai. Based on the promise to Abraham, God redeems the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. In that act of redemption, the Israelite nation became in effect God's "property." At the theophany at Sinai, the Israelites were not asked if they wanted to accept the covenant: having been purchased from being slaves of Pharaoh to being, in effect, "slaves" of God. The midrash says that God actually held Mt. Sinai over the heads of the people and threatened to drop it on them if they did not accept. They answered "we will do and we will listen" -- they agreed to do whatever God commanded before the the terms and conditions of the covenant had been given.

This covenant was renewed voluntarily at several junctures: after the Golden Calf, on the plains of Moab before Moses's death, with Joshua after entering the Land, and with Ezra after the Babylonian Exile. But the power imbalance is still obvious in the first covenant and the third.

A relationship or a marriage, I should think, should be like that with Abraham: both sides free to choose and with continuous communication about what the terms and boundaries are. My relationship, though, began with a covenant like Noah's. I was a kid and didn't know anything -- about myself or the world -- that I hadn't gotten out of books. My partner is 21 years my senior and had already had life experiences I never had. I just accepted the deal without asking any questions -- Noah never speaks in Torah except to curse his grandson Canaan.

Sorry for the off topic rambling...

_________________________
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

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#207746 - 02/27/08 11:41 AM Re: Absolutes [Re: VLinvictus]
VLinvictus Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: NY
Thanks for the Greek, Lazarus!

I wrote this poem thinking largely about my partner, but I'm struck how it can apply equally well to my father.

_________________________
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde

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