Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Love and Power

In the book I just finished, there was a passage where young Bailey runs off to join the circus, but when he gets to the site he is too late. The circus is gone.
Erin Morgenstern writes -- He sits down on the ground, holding his head in his hands and feeling utterly lost though he has played in these very fields ever since he was little.
I found this line evocative of how I have felt many times.
Sometimes it is the very familiarity of physical geography that can accentuate feelings of lostness or disappointment. The quietness of a house that once had someone else in it, but no longer does. A favourite restaurant that will never be the same, without the other person being with you, at it. And what is the effect of heart-encircled carved initials in a tree, if the second half of the equation is not there to observe them with you?
You'd rather not see that tree!
In a word, sadness.
In the above example, Bailey is mourning the loss of a circus, and moreso the loss of a special girl he was in the process of loving. She left with the circus.
The passage made me think further into the losses that are part and parcel of some love relationships, that alter. I think of a certain axiom that I have always held to be a truism:
Whoever loves the least has the most power.
I have debated those words with many people over the years, but no one has yet been able to convince me of their inaccuracy.
In my opinion, love and power cancel each other out.
This is not to say that the two things cannot co-exist. They do, in fact, co-exist. But to the extent that one displaces the other, I believe that the axiom holds true.
The first of two people yearn to keep a relationship intact -- to maintain an element of love within it. The other has divergent interests, or is otherwise not as concerned. Does not care as much.
Which of these two is at a greater level of power, within the relationship?
Obviously [again, in my opinion]  the latter person is. This is because the first person in the example is motivated by an exclusive love for the other.
Even if this love is ill-placed or unrequited from the get-go -- still, the axiom holds.
Whether the relationship is sick or healthy, the second person would find it easier to walk away from the situation in its entirety. Or to not comply with any reasons to make it better.
And that is what power looks like.
To accentuate the point, one might add “Whoever is betrayed feels the most betrayal.”
Or “Whoever is left most alone in the end feels the most lonely.”
Are either of those arrangements of words much different than saying “Whoever loves the least has the most power?”



Anonymous said...

Clearly, with that attitude, you will never find happiness in love. Maybe you are too cynical to love?

Anonymous said...

Hey Cippy,
In french there's a saying that goes like this: un qui aime et un qui se laisse aimer. One who loves and one who let's him/herself be loved. The power is sort of implied there as well.