mardi, janvier 06, 2009

The illusion of no illusions

If you search for tenderness it isn't hard to find.
You can have the love you need to live.
But if you look for truthfulness
You might just as well be blind.
It always seems to be so hard to give.
Honesty is such a lonely word.
Everyone is so untrue.
Honesty is hardly ever heard.
And mostly what I need from you.

Yes, there's something a little whiney about the lyrics of this old Billy Joel song.

But it came to mind today, as I was pondering something I'd known intuitively but never really absorbed: tenderness, not to mention charm, is easier than honesty.

For a while, I was dangerously close to a man who seemed to live in a perpetual fog of half truth about his marriage and his relationship with his children--a fog he medicated with booze and busy-ness.

Why was I able to forgive his double life? Because, perhaps, I came close to living one myself?

That was my mind on drugs. In "normal" times, I'm not very good at self-deception. In fact, I may go a little too far in the other direction, magnifying my own flaws until I am almost paralyzed. My slightly flaggelant (behold, I make up a word) tendencies cause me to be pretty tough on others when I think I see it in them.

Although generally compassionate, I may be less accepting of a little deceit, of self and others, than I should be. We're weak, we're broken, we are all so fallible...including me.

But oh, when someone acknowledges their shortcomings, it is so liberating. When they 'fess up that they are just another wanderer who has screwed up, bigtime, and knows that they can screw up again, I am drawn to them like a magnet to steel.

Now, THAT is charming.

Which brings me back to the Jackson Browne/Joan Baez song I quoted here a while back...

Now that the things that I remember seem so distant and so small,
Though it hasn't really been that long a time.
What I was seeing wasn't what was happening at all
Although for a while, our path did seem to climb.
When you see through love's illusions, there lies the danger,
And your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool.So you go running off in search of a perfect stranger
All the loneliness seems to spring from your life,
Like a fountain from a pool.
Fountain of sorrow, fountain of light,
You know that hollow sound of your own steps in flight
You had to hide sometimes, but now you're alright.
And it's good to see your smiling face tonight.

Maybe I'm deluded by my apparent lack of illusions...or perhaps I've just been...lucky. Meanwhile, I crave the meeting of two wounded, anxious, battered and courageous souls like a bulb waits for the warmth of the spring burst into blossom.

Aucun commentaire: