In Charm, Somber, and Love

There is something to know at a given moment

when in slow degrees

her pensive ways

would let her slide by her dreams…

The dreams

which hide behind the walls of her mind,

how they yield supreme delight

after all the uncertainty and disorders love could bring.

She has taken her vows

to claim back the recollections

she has pledged to defend and cherish,

as if it could somehow bring back

the innocence that once belonged to her…

What she would give up

to ascend a wondrous, grassy hill

where an ardent breeze could touch her face,

beholding a view that would wake up her senses,

which might bring tempest or calm

or whatever drama the sky has held for the day.

She would appeal for a higher strength

to soothe the ache of her wounded heart

to seek an answer to the question

about a wrong kind of loss

and a destiny fostering the rudest of truths.

You see her now

As she genuflects in peace

with the images of yesterdays

that speaks of bonds, sweetness, and friendship

recalling past intensities that justified her deeds.

She imagines the sunshine in his smile

the way she relishes the dividends of his affection

adorning her with a love – that knows no bounds.

The secrets in their souls

their shared longings and hopes

they consumed with an emotion

under a glow of a subdued light

the shelter of the night had sworn to keep…

The heavens may hold no promise

for an apathy she ought to banish

of events digging into her sensibilities

to memories she just might lose forever.

That she is being renewed somehow

by such moments and sentiments,

renders the birth of another truth

she could only uncover in time.

*****

ladyinred

Writers’ Take On Passion In Literature Of Modern Times

Two weeks ago while I was casually browsing on the internet, I chanced upon an interesting exchange of perspectives among certified writers taking place on FB as they touched on the subject of passion in prose. Initially, the conversation was set in motion by a lady writer who had just finished watching “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” based on the period novel by John Fowles that tells of a story of passionate love verging on fragile intensity and more than negligible risk. Sarah, the main character is a “fallen” woman who’s unfit for love, yet this French lieutenant guy blindly falls for her. So the questions that pervaded principally in the discussion were: Are dysfunction and hindrances elemental in generating powerful feelings in romantic fiction? Must the strength of passion be tested through the battle against the barrier? And is there really such a thrill in the forbidden-ness of consummated sex? When we live in a world devoid of forbidden stuff like we do now, we try to find what’s missing in our lives through literature and similar other forms of escapism. It could be true then that a substantial impediment is crucial for passion to last or even exist, and the struggle to overcome that barrier is elemental to the success of a love story told through the pages. Hearts must be ready to bleed. That much can be true for the majority of hopeless romantics of this world.

Well, the FB sort-of debate flowed and took some twists and turns until it touched on a colossal issue of the modern writer’s dilemma. Each writer then began sharing his/her valuable insight in what they deliberated to be the contrast between romantic literature of the past and romantic literature of the present. There’s this growing but discomforting recognition that readers of today swoon for passion represented by the likes of “Twilight,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” and “The Notebook” despite their obvious flaws. Ruffled by the fact that it just might go on to become the wave of the future, prospects for quality serious prose look dismal considering present literature continues to be awash with vampire love triangles, ridiculous plotlines, absurd settings and sundry other pieces of cheesy romantic narrative. Romance fiction in the tradition of “Wuthering Heights” and “Pride & Prejudice” doesn’t seem to carry weight as it used to. Today’s genre of prose has dishearteningly upended the traditional classics in the book market. A concern these writers share is that they may also have to kowtow to the demands of the market trend somehow and do away with their desire for original creativity in their written art.

Is “bad fiction” really here to stay? As the same flamboyance in cinema-making surges ahead, we may be resigned to the reality of the bastion of banality which ultimately blights on the integrity of “high literature” and so-called certified writers. The FB conversation went on to belabor on the writers’ objection to this moneymaking scheme practiced by fad writers to recycle the same plotlines, characters, settings, etc., expressing in unison their dissent for both the authors and the readers who indulge in said genre. People crave for passion in literature. True. Yet these days, people want to get it from nonsensical fantasy settings that also provide hindrances strong enough to make love challenging or forbidden (which bring us back to the point above). This emergence and success of vampire books, movies and TV shows inundated with tales of supposed ardor and true love, have they practically been ghosts of the real thing we found in Wuthering Heights, Romeo and Juliet, Jane Eyre, etc.?

One writer tried to neutralize the feeling of disdain by saying these fiction authors who cater to the current market might have been highly successful because they were able to explore passion that is meaningful and relevant in present contexts. It’s as though genuine passion cannot thrive anymore in this modern society because of numerous distractions around, that results to us readers being slightly desperate for out-of- this world passion to fall for just about anything.

My idea of Nirvana
Ok, so what’s my personal take on all this? In all the most important regards, I hope writers of any genre would continually be able to come up with literary books worthy of occupying places of honor on our shelves.

And frankly, I haven’t considered things much on their side of the equation because I’m not even a professional writer and I’ve no intention yet of dipping my toes on the pond of fiction writing. But speaking of passion, well..

The goal of love is rapture. There’s undeniably rapture in passion, and love without passion is like eating chocolate without sugar. That’s how it is for me because I’m simply a sucker for all things sweet.

No doubt even the most cerebral of women crawl on their knees in the name of love and passion. Do I go on to confirm that our species truly thrive on obstacles engineered by love and its variety of forbidden constitution?

It’s not something I’d like to answer right this moment so I may have to get back on this topic in another post.

But this I’ve got to ask for now. How did we women end up being vulnerable to such literary crap anyway? Female readers have always been the never-ending target market of what has been established as “Chick Lit” (that presently includes the genre fiction we’re submerged in). Literature of this kind definitely gives an erroneous touchstone for our romantic longings. I wish we have been trained to be more of inveterate thinkers like men which would make all these fabricated stuff about silly romantic fantasies and passion-defeats-all illusion unnecessary. We’d therefore find no urge at all to pine for a 600-year-old vampire, even if he’s as handsome as Robert Pattinson. Neither will we find perfect chemistry between Borat and Jessica Alba (creepy huh?), nor reason out that it’s ok for a woman to suffer for love as long as the man is a superhero like the ever-busy Superman, Spiderman on the go, or the elusive Batman.

Women have a choice. Books that encourage women to be stronger, more discerning and selective in matters of the heart are rare yet essentially precious. They are a must read for us delusional romantics who believe dysfunctional love just might be the real thing, in accordance to what’s been fed to us since we were young girls. I believe we do badly need such empowering books both for the benefit of young minds and for the reversal of all the crap that has accumulated in our not so young minds.

But then, I bet books of this ilk would unfortunately sell only 8 copies.

Valentine Season Ponderings of Single Women Like Me

I hate to put out another sappy piece here but Valentine’s Day is coming around the corner and that gives me fair enough reason to write about love and men-my most favorite topics- once more. Yipee.

Please take note that I’m still resolute in granting my weary heart a sabbatical, which means I’ve no plan to put it on the line yet. Be that as it may, I find no reasons not to be happy. Life has been good recently and it still is.

To be honest, I’m not totally loveless on this special day. Aside from my son, there’s one in particular who’s gonna be so happy to see me and spend time with me. My cat. As soon as I get home from work, she’ll start following me around, making unintelligible sounds equivalent to saying she missed me the whole day, and then proceed to show me her undying devotion in her own feline ways. For sure, we’ll be having dinner together sharing a can of sardines afterwards. No kidding. Hey, it’s not that bad. I do love my cat. And some sardines can be tasty and delicious.

You know I put up this blog so I could start to chronicle my life’s narrative. The question is, am I ready to narrate to my dear readers my love stories of epic dimensions? (ho-ho, I’m exaggerating, of course) Nah. Maybe not yet. In the near future perhaps. But here’s the deal. Whatever you’ll learn about me and my past romantic misdemeanors, just promise you won’t report me to the nearest Police Love Station. Ok?

There’s one thing you should know about our race. We are widely known for indulging in the extravagance of our feelings and emotions. Crimes of passion are not extraordinary occurrences here. Only in this land can you hear of mortals actually willing to die for love, or surrender in all foolishness in the name of unmitigated, relentless ardor. How we revel in its sensations, never lacking in PDAs or ingenious ways to demonstrate our supposed infinite (?) affection for each other.  I have to admit that we sometimes find western movies on love lacking in dramatic embellishments. They’re a little flat and laid-back, in our honest opinion (sorry..). Our romantic films in comparison are intense, high-strung, oftentimes tempestuous, laced with intricate angles that twist and turn. That’s how we normally favor all things romantical here.

Freddie Mercury of Queen sang about this crazy little thing called love, remember?   

And there are times too when I liken this whole notion of love to an inconceivable dream. You try to reach for the stars and in certain magical moments, you feel as though they’re already within your grasp. Just as you’re about to touch one, you plummet back to earth and crash down explosively in unfathomable fashion. It’s as if we aren’t meant to mingle with the brightest in heavens, after all..

Alright, alright.. Before I lower the curtains on this entry, I’ll confess to keeping someone somewhere in the outskirts of my heart for this particular Valentine. Not so much on the romantic sphere though. But I consider this person special to me because he inspires me in a good sense with his gracious manners, erudite mind, elegant writing style and flawless grammar. Don’t dare ask me who he is or I’ll turn tail and flee. Comprende?

Happy Valentine Season, dear readers!