|Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006 || The Language of Goodbye|
I've had this book sitting on a shelf, having checked it out from the library a good six or more weeks ago, renewing it repeatedly until I realized that if I didn't read it asap, I'd have to return it. So, I took it with me to school this week, on the day I knew I'd be subbing in a class where the teacher was leaving videos.
It immediately gripped me. But I really can't say I enjoyed it. Certainly it is well written, poignant, thought-provoking. But I often found it disheartening. And sometimes it angered me immensely.
And while I realize that part of the author's intent was to help one see that often in the leaving there aren't any "good" or "bad" guys, I found myself viewing the ones who left as selfish and even cruel at times.
I believe in love. I believe in finding happiness - or more importantly, joy; the idea of joy being contentment from within no matter what is happening without. But something in me rose up and wanted to scream, "When you make a commitment, you don't just walk away. At least not like that."
Love, to me, is a decision. And that decision will sometimes mean muddling through a lot of crap. Putting someone else's well-being before one's own. There is also, certainly, a time to express need and to nurture yourself - your interests, your desires, your individuality. But the paradox is that when we seek to love and cherish someone - to really get to know them and learn to love them in a way that they can understand it - when they feel loved - they want to love us right back.
Granted, for some, that realization is too little too late. And I am not - believe me! - trying to bash anyone who decided that the best thing they could do was to walk out the door. Because some aren't able to receive love offered. I am not a polly-anna who thinks it's gonna work every time and all you have to do is try real hard and everything will fall into place in the end.
It is definitely not that simple.
I guess what I find the most difficult to swallow - the part I just can't even try to understand - is how they could lie and scheme to sleep with someone else when the rings were still on their fingers. No matter how happy that new person made them. As the book did reveal quite well, everyone is going to get hurt.
I've seen it too many times in real life, and perhaps the left-behind wife spoke too plainly to me of loved ones similarly betrayed.
I think the characters had regrets. Scratch that - they obviously did. And I think in some way, they - or at least one of them - realized that they could have gone about it differently, and perhaps their marriages could have been salvaged. But they also admitted that they probably wouldn't have done it any other way.
I found that revelation bone-jarringly sad.
Commitment doesn't seem to mean what it used to, and that reality, wrapped succinctly within the pages of that story, is what I find the saddest of all.
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007