Friday, June 13, 2014

some warm weather tomorrow

On the one hand, I'm watching the first few episodes of Tru Calling to see if I want to give this series a shot in regards to this blog--every episode, as I understand it, does involve a time loop, after all.

On the other hand, I've been thinking about relationships today--someone I know learned her relationship isn't what she thought it was and I was thinking about two suggestions one could make when a relationships fails (not to imply a lack of fault, with that phrasing). You could 1) take things more slowly next time, be cautious, be wary, don't get too invested until you have proven you can trust the new guy (or girl), or 2) risk the pain because going all in is worth it...

On a third hand, today is day 316, so I have this smartass urge to once again discuss Phil Connors as a Christ Figure because, well, the oft signed biblical verse John 3:16. But, that topic has been discussed to death. Not unlike a Christ-Figure.

(Meanwhile, some obvious loop markers on my TV--Tru knocks a framed picture down when she reaches to turn off her alarm clock, and the neighbors upstairs are being a little noisy. And her brother calls because he's got some debt issues and, hey, lottery numbers on the TV.

And, I didn't know Zach Galifianakis was in this. Cool.)

Phil doesn't have this problem--the relationship thing--in the time loop, I suppose. Any relationship he's got coming out of the loop has taken an immense amount of time and effort, whether it was worth it or not. Hell, maybe he didn't just go for sex with all those "accessible" women in Punxsutawney.

I have not had my fair share of significant others. I've had a few... well, only a few. I'm no expert on this subject. But, I know that when a relationship turns out to not be what you thought it was, it hurts. For me, I channeled that hurt into my writing. Poetry both lame and awesome, and once, I put a very dark turn into finishing a novel I had sitting around incomplete.

Hell, a story I had in the planning stages a year ago--I think I may have mentioned it before, I wrote a chapter and got sidetracked last summer--was birthed partly from old ideas I had and partly from some dark feelings coming out of the second separation from my wife. Assuming I eventually--maybe this summer--get back to the story, this might be a bit SPOILERy, but this is something I wrote into my notes for the story last year--this was after divorce has been brought up, before I'd moved out for the second time:

I think I figured out yesterday the theme for Last Song of Whisper Blackbraid. It's about letting go, moving on, when you know you have to but can barely even bear the idea let alone the reality of it. Those parents losing their children, Jason longing for the wife he hasn't seen in years even as he had finally almost moved on to Rien, two old people longing for comfort before they part. And, at the center, Quarrel, feeling that he has but a short time left with his wife, knowing he'll be gone soon, and trying to do his job in the meantime even when all he wants to do is lay [sic] in bed with Nikkel making the last days take as long as they can.

Then it gets really SPOILERy regarding plot details, but you can see my point. If I do write this story, I will keep it dark--it does involve a series of murders and two old men who know, for reasons I will not get into here, that they will be leaving the world they are in very soon--but it may end up a little more plot-driven than character-driven if I'm in a better mood than when I wrote that note. For the record, I am lately in a far better mood than when I wrote that note. But, I understand that pain, that grief. I understand how much it can hurt when someone hurts you, or when circumstance makes it feel like happiness isn't even possible...

(Tru Calling, meanwhile, plays like Early Edition and Run Lola Run had a baby together.)

...I don't know. I'm not one to give advice on this sort of thing. And, emotionally, I never took things slowly. In terms of action, I often took things too slowly, hence only a few significant others in my decades of life. We like to think that when we jump right in, it means it's that much stronger a connection, the romanticized, Hollywood version of things. Grodal (2004) suggests that the slow buildup in some stories--he uses Groundhog Day as his example--actually "serves the same purpose as love at first sight--namely, to guarantee the permanence of the bond" (p. 30). No wonder we all have messed up notions about love in the West. Movies tell us that love at first sight and love after a nice slow buildup are going to amount to the same thing... most of our relationships, I would wager, simply won't turn into anything permanent. Partly, the whole romance angle just adds to the problem there, of course. I've heard arranged marriages, for example, result in stronger relationships than marriages that begin with romance.

May (2012), on the other hand, suggests it is not love in Groundhog Day until the end, until it has a future. That's an interesting way of thinking about love--it just doesn't exist without a future. May goes on to make an argument that inadvertently implies that the Twilight series may be the greatest love story ever, so we'll skip that bit.

(Second episode of Tru Calling is a bit less frenetic than the pilot, but not much.)

May defines love simply: "between two particular people in their particularity. We cannot love just anyone, even others with much the same qualities." Given the implication that love only exists when it has a future, this make sense. But, it is a bit of a True Scotsman logical fallacy. Really, I disagree with May at a fundamental level here. I think we can love just anyone. That's not the same thing as that romanticized love we want. But, it's something.

May quotes an old teacher of his--"one has to risk somewhat for his soul." Option 2 up above, that would be. Risk the possibility of being with the wrong person because that being with part is so very nice while it lasts.

(Jeopardy! shows up in the third episode of Tru Calling. They still haven't namechecked Groundhog Day, though.)

And, I find myself just sitting here with little to type. I'd like to say something profound, something helpful. But, relationships don't work sometimes and sometimes people make stupid choices. People hurt one another. It's the human condition, so to speak. Unfortunately.

And you want to help when someone you care about is hurting. Hell, you want to keep them from being hurt in the first place... A time loop would come in handy right about now.

Mostly, things do improve. Hell, as bad as things seem sometimes, there's nowhere they can go but up.

Today's reason to repeat a day forever: to keep people from getting hurt. And to comfort when hurt cannot be prevented.

References:

Grodal, T. (2004). Love and Desire in the Cinema. Cinema Journal 43(2), pp. 26-46.

May, T. (2012). Love and Death. The Stone. Retrieved from http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/love-and-death/?_r=0

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