had a lovely and languid weekend, spent mostly by myself.
a few things set me to thinking- one, a line in rm
's journal, said by one of her fencing mentors, that fencing is "like having a mistress, one needs to care, but not be emotionally involved." i found the statement interesting at the time, and it's been in the back of my mind for a few weeks now. i realized that that 'middle way' was a space i'd seldom, if ever, experienced.
my emotional life tended to be too much "all or nothing"- either i hurled myself in head-long, or i detached entirely. the former gave me a somewhat desperate, "nobody-loves-me-everybody-hates-me-now-
i'm-gonna-eat-some-worms" child's sadness. the latter gave me an 'adult' "ok, so nobody cares as intensely as *I* care, i am alone in this universe and therefore slightly superior as i eschew all emotional involvement' type of spock-ism.
i was constantly 'trying' to detach, and the 'trying' made me even more intense. there's really nothing sadder than someone consciously 'trying' to CONVINCE the world, by tantrum if necessary, that you are REALLY. NOT. UPSET.
so this 'mistress' concept- essentially to be respectful, but not fall in love. to set a limit, both in honesty to another person and also to yourself- i'll go HERE, but not there. i'll be here now, but not then. and to be honest? if you push me, i'll leave you.
heartless, a bit.
which brings me to the other statement that's been bugging me- which i heard on the radio a year or so ago, and which many people disagreed with when i mentioned it here- that the person who cares the LEAST has the MOST power.
and it's true, especially taken in light of the above paragraphs. with students? the one who decides not to care is the one who loses interest and quits. in a relationship? the one who stops caring, or cares more about someone else, is the one who calls the shots. in an affair? it's not the one who lies in bed twisting and crying because the phone's not ringing who controls, it's the one who forgot to call.
so what's the point here.
for me? it is to CHOOSE. there are a few things- wonderful things- that DESERVE my intense, all-encompassing, overwhelming, love and caring. there are a few things where absolute objectivity is the best thing- driving on the interstate, balancing the checkbook. but the middle ground- places like my teaching, a few peripheral friendships, daily interactions with strangers- it really WOULD be great if i didn't find myself totally ripped apart emotionally by things nobody else even knew were HAPPENING.
MUSICALLY this is important also. figure it- the intense, burning, musical passion- the thing that rips your heart and changes your life- feeds the desire to be a musician. the detached, non-involved musician? who has time. but- in performance- the middle ground is ESSENTIAL. the major emotional experience MUST be had- but it's the calm preparation, the dissection of every passage, the constant re-enforcement of all consistency, that makes a successful performance. mid-ground.
i never, frankly, want to be the one who 'cares the least'- but i CAN choose my battles better, quit throwing myself at every experience as if it were going to be my last. i can afford to allow much of it to calmly pass by. it's OK. i don't control the whole world. surprise? i never did. and not behaving like i DO will make my own life one HELL of a lot easier.
the last few days i've been looking at pictures from NASA of deep space: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html
i've been looking at things MILLIONS OF LIGHT-YEARS away.
gives a person pause to ponder.
i am like an elliptical galaxy- a whole body of swirling stuff in the middle, some stuff being created, other stuff being thrown out, and big, reaching arms opened wide out into open space.
and it's good.