Friday, April 14, 2017

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Little moments occur in which all of life makes sense. They can be subtle, the result of a good conversation or congregating, whether at dinner, or at a milestone—birth, graduation, death—in which the stars appear to be in alignment and the ghouls who you create in fits of alienation and anomie reveal themselves to be loving and needful fellow travellers, sufferers, ecstasists. These occasions may require a little lubrication, a bit of pruning or psychic cosmetology, but it’s possible to emerge from them shouting hosannas of the kind that the O’Jays belted out in their famous 60’s hit, "Love Train."What’s important is not to heed the fact that such feelings are easily disrupted, fragile and ephemeral. Because something doesn’t last doesn’t reduce it’s significance. In fact our age of quantum energy, where tiny particles with infinitesimal half lives play such an important role in the invisible microcosm that underpins existence, only lends credence to the value of these little sparks of energy in which fusion rather than fission characterizes the interactions between human beings. If you’ve ever had what you thought was a great, even momentous interlude with someone who barely remembers it, you know the deflation and devaluation that can result when there’s little reciprocal validation of an experience.  One reason for this lack of equanimity is the fact that powerful experiences, no matter how limited in time they may be, can be unsettling enough to catalyze defensive reactions. People actually protect themselves from their vulnerability, much like the lover who fears that his or her passionate interlude may only end up being regarded as a one night stand by their partner—which is sad. Better to open your heart at these rare times when the implacable zombie like carapace of personality is intermittently broken apart and the light of human contact and feeling stream through like rays of light in the stained glass of a church. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was the title of a famous novel by Carson McCullers.

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