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Wed, 18 Mar 2009:

Yet again, I find myself in a strange position. I observe, I learn and I contemplate. Spend much time on those, travel by thought and arrive at conclusions. Only to find out that I'm a century too late with them; That in fact, I was a century late when I started. Like once before, I'm not ashamed to borrow the unforgettable words of a soul long passed by.

No, we never sicken with love twice. Cupid spends no second arrow on the 
same heart. Love's handmaids are our life-long friends. Respect, and 
admiration, and affection, our doors may always be left open for, but 
their great celestial master, in his royal progress, pays but one visit 
and departs. We like, we cherish, we are very, very fond of—but we never 
love again. 

Love is too pure a light to burn long among the noisome gases that we 
breathe, but before it is choked out we may use it as a torch to ignite 
the cozy fire of affection.

But of the fire we all know, but let him speak of the embers left behind - the death of love and the journey ahead.

I am afraid, dear Edwin and Angelina, you expect too much from love. You 
think there is enough of your little hearts to feed this fierce, devouring
passion for all your long lives. Ah, young folk! don't rely too much upon 
that unsteady flicker. It will dwindle and dwindle as the months roll on, 
and there is no replenishing the fuel. You will watch it die out in anger 
and disappointment. To each it will seem that it is the other who is growing

Both are astonished at the falling off in the other one, but neither sees 
their own change. If they did they would not suffer as they do. They would 
look for the cause in the right quarter—in the littleness of poor human 
nature—join hands over their common failing, and start building their 
house anew on a more earthly and enduring foundation. 

But we are so blind to our own shortcomings, so wide awake to those of 
others. Everything that happens to us is always the other person's fault.

It is a cheerless hour for you both when the lamp of love has gone out and 
the fire of affection is not yet lit, and you have to grope about in the 
cold, raw dawn of life to kindle it. God grant it catches light before the 
day is too far spent. Many sit shivering by the dead coals till night come.

And from a page penned more than a century ago, the man stabs at the heart of our modern lives - only to go unheard again & again. But reader, to you I repeat, words that will make sense of this world - the creed of its people, of self and nothing more.

Ah, those foolish days, those foolish days when we were unselfish and 
pure-minded; those foolish days when our simple hearts were full of 
truth, and faith, and reverence! Ah, those foolish days of noble longings 
and of noble strivings! 

And oh, these wise, clever days when we know that money is the only prize 
worth striving for, when we believe in nothing else but meanness and lies, 
when we care for no living creature but ourselves!

If you enjoyed reading the paragraphs above, this is all quoted verbatim from Jerome K Jerome's "Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow". And at least in my ears, it rings absolutely true - scarily so, for something written in 1886 - a different era altogether. In some strange sense, for all the progress we've made, we haven't changed at all. And if you think so, read the whole thing.

Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.
                -- George Gordon, Lord Byron, "Don Juan"

posted at: 01:12 | path: /philosophy | permalink | Tags: , ,