First off, I would like to say how much I hate labels. I hate labels and people who would judge me for shopping at Dollarama. I tear at them (the people, that is) as I feebly scratch the reluctant sticker and get my nails all gunky. I also hate when you boil water and forget about it and have to drink cold tea. I hate when you actually take the time to make a salad but then the dressing leaks all over your bag. I hate how I have the worst teachers for the subjects I love, and the best ones for those I hate. I hate how my parents don’t even consider what I have to say, but stuff their ears with cotton balls (not really, but that would be funny). I hate how lately I break down every time I try to stand up. It’s really not okay. Oh no, today was not a very pleasant day.
I love how they told us our French teacher was going to be cranky in her pregnancy, but instead we’re laughing more than ever before. I love how somehow some people keep smiling under stress, duress, the rest. I love poetry and writing and words WORDS, even when the teachers (unknowingly) do their best to ruin them. I love oatmeal raisin cookies with coconut, especially when you find a secret, don’t-you-dare-eat-them stash and you eat them anyway. I love girls who aren’t afraid to yell down the hallway. I love people who give money for nothing, and people who do big somethings for no money at all. Thanks to them, today was wonderful, really truly full of wonder.
But I don’t know how I feel about love and hate and all those words in between. My daddy says hate is a strong word and shouldn’t be misused. Well, I say love is a strong word that shouldn’t be abused. So maybe we should salvage all the lost words floating somewhere in between and serve up some meaning for what should’ve been.
P.S. Sorry to be so mopey and melancholy. If you’re interested, get your own mind-numbing t-shirt over here.
“My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!”
– Juliet from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (Act 1, Scene 5)
We’ve started reading “Romeo & Juliet” in English class. Though most of the boys are trying to prove their macho manliness by sulking in the corner, the girls are secretly in romantic heaven. Admittedly, the thought of love-hungry Romeo persuing pre-adolescent Juliet is slightly creepy, but we still swoon. We dream of being in Juliet’s place when Romeo sees her for the first time, immediately declaring passionate love and offering a tender kiss. We feel certain their love will end all conflict between the Montagues and the Capulets.
But is it too far-fetched to believe that love can conquer all? When two opposing families – deeply entwined in mutual hatred – collide in the meeting of their cherished son and daughter, they cannot forget their past quarrels . . . and love is not victorious.
Have you ever met someone so extraordinary, so brilliant, so wonderful . . . but the timing was off? Every conversation you have with them leaves you wishing for more. Your brain speeds up, your heart pumps faster, and even your soul seems lighter. That is, until you realize the one barrier holding you back. Why hadn’t you realized it earlier, before you came this far? Why hadn’t your brain begun to operate before your heart? It was “too early seen unknown, and known too late!”
I wonder, by my truth, what thou and I
Did till we loved? Were we not weaned till then,
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
‘Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ‘twas but a dream of thee.
And now good morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown;
Let us possess one world; each hath one, and is one.
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none do slacken, none can die.
I love that line “snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ Den?”. Legend has it that long ago seven young men were shut up in a cave by the Roman emperor Decius, on account of refusing to recant their Christian faith. Having no way of escape, the seven men soon fell into a deep slumber which seems to have lasted for over two hundred years! During this time, emperor Decius was replaced with Theodosius and the persecution of the Christian faith had morphed into the entire empire embracing it. However, when the seven men finally awoke they imagined they had slept for only one day, and were laughed at when they tried to pay the nearby villagers with old “Decius” coins.
Poem by the ever-eloquent John Donne. Images from the film Tristan & Isolde.
LET ME NOT TO THE MARRIAGE OF TRUE MINDS
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove;
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
William Shakespeare – Sonnet 116
For those Sense & Sensibility (Jane Austen) fans out there, this is the poem Edward Ferrars attempts to read, but not to the satisfaction of passionate Marianne, who presses him to read it again “with greater feeling”.
Image from here.