Monday, December 20, 2010

forgiving love's defective vision

once upon a time, three friends (whose identity will remain hidden to protect the innocent and guilty alike) met for coffee. much like many group of friends before, conversation inevitably steered to ‘significant-other-bitching’ at one point.

friend 1, laments that he is so tired of his partner being selfish and never considering the situation from the other’s perspective.

friend 2 asked, ‘did you not know this before you made a commitment to be in a relationship with him?’

to which, of course, friend 1 did. and, being in the safe environment of friends, admitted to reluctantly.

friend 3 offered that this may not be intentional. it is simply his partner feeling free to express himself and from his point of view, his behaviour may not necessarily be selfish or inconsiderate, it just being – well, himself.

friend 1 said, ‘if that is so, then he doesn’t get me.’

all three fell silent for a while, lost in their thoughts.

friend 2 started asking why is it that many times our lovers don’t get us and our friends effortlessly do.

friend 3 (the psychologist in the group) explained that friendship is defined by commonality while love by fascination, requiring a level of mystery – thus the unknown.

this conversation stuck with me long after the caffeine has left my system. i asked myself many times:

is this true? in a relationship, are we all doomed to spend the rest of our lives (if we’re lucky) with a person who by virtue of their love for us, will never understand us?

like many dillemas before me, i can deal with it as long as i understand it. so i tried to ponder the issue a bit more.

after much thought, i figured that when you love somebody, you’re interaction is limited to the minute distance of intimate spaces. this closeness, while allowing for perspective that reveals stark detail, can only focus on a limited space at a time and inhibits a view of the complete picture. much of which is lost and the rest suffers from the haziness of peripheral vision. love is not blind. it is just that love when actualised, suffers from tinges of myopia, sometimes hyperopia or even tunnel vision.

viewed from this angle, this short-sightedness is not an absence of empathy but a testament of one’s intimacy.

comforted by the thought, i now listen to ani difranco’s song, thinking i have the answer to her question:

‘he didn’t understand me
but i don’t know why i didn’t go
he didn’t understand me
and he had every chance to know.’

he loved you and he cannot see all of you because you are too near. but he sees you in a way no other cannot.

a fair trade-off? maybe not.

but for me, a macro-lensed witnessing of my life (warts, scars and all) is as important as affirmation i receive from those who view the soft light, airbrushed image i present to the rest of the world. believing that those warts, scars and all that i endeavour to conceal define me more than the complete picture and may not be so repulsive, when viewed with love.


kawadjan said...

As usual, well said, Bb Kiel. Love, love your insight and, honestly, I haven't seen it that way. Points taken for consideration. Wala na akong maidadag pa.

Keep writing!

wanderingcommuter said...

ikaw na talaga!!! clap! clap! clap! halos lahat ng lines um-agree ako!

Lyka Bergen said...

Or maybe he did put on a blindfold, and in silence feel your love... and loved you back.. with double blindness -- blind both to your defects..... and to your PERFECTIONS. I think you should do that too. To love is to feel anyways... It's never to see.

kiel estrella said...

@ kawadjan - as housewives, kailangan nating i-maintain ang sanity diba? hahaha

@ wc - may palakpak pa talaga. hahaha. glad na may sense sa iba. coming from you whose insight in his blog - i admire, it's a big compliment. i was thinking baka i shoot down ng mga tao for 2 cent psychology. haha

kiel estrella said...

@ lyka - ay! itinaas ng lola to another level. di ko yata kaya yan. like many people who fancy they use their brains even in love, ayaw kong pumasok na mga bagay blindly (or, at least, never admit it publicly)

Luis Batchoy said...

very well said. We can't have our cakes and eat it too can we.. well, that's what make commitment a complicated undecoded thing. Well the rosetta stone may just be sexual intimacy. Maybe not! Nice piece!

kiel estrella said...

@ luis - naku, isang aspeto pa yang sexual intimacy na hindi ko pa na-factor in. i was talking about intimacy in a more genaralised sense. dahil sex maybe the most personal aspect of who we are - ay! isulat mo na yan: 'the mystery of sexual intimacy'. oh rhyme pa.

Ex Jason said...

i don't think we need to require mystery from a relationship, because it will inevitably exist. there will always be mystery, even in friendship. neither can we say that friendship and intimate relationships require different levels of mystery, because friends can fall in love. even best friends.

if we find that our view of our beloved is too restricted, then it's our fault. we have to remember to step back and see the beauty of how the little imperfections come together to paint a perfect picture. otherwise, though we see our beloved in a way that only we do, we will miss seeing the person that the rest of the world sees.

id said...

pwede bang palakpakan si Ex Jason? totally agree

ah kiel, your blog reminds me of susan sarandon in 'dance with me' who said something like she stays married because she wants this one person to witness her life.

panggulo lang - do we stay with the one we love because of what we see or feel? or do we stay with them because we have defined them as friend/lover? do we really have time to fully understand?

Luis Batchoy said...

And my final statement is a collaboration of two of my spiritual titas.

I say, whatever it is, the most important thing is that love, love, love... kung ano ang nasa puso mo sundin mo, get get awwww!


kiel estrella said...

@ jason, id & luis - what i like about blogging is sharing my views about things that matter to me and being able to hear what other people think. to ask questions, try to answer them and come up with new questions. ang saya lang, di ba?

for me, perception is by definition limited and subjective. kaya i cannot fault anybody for having limited perception. and to fully understand anything and anybody is impossible. not our friends, nor our lovers.

but also, i have to say, everybody has to live his own truth. kaya kung anong pinaniniwalaan mo, yun ang importante.

Luis Batchoy said...

korek... cue in song "points of view" by regine and jaya hehehe

pot session said...

Sometimes selfish people don’t realize they’re being selfish already, in the same way that crazy people wouldn’t admit to being crazy. Maybe friend 1’s jowa’s selfishness is just a means to assert some control? It’s easy to pin selfishness on someone’s character if it doesn’t go with your idea of How Things Should Be. Ewan.

kiel estrella said...

@ pat - sa akin, subjective talaga ang perception of selfishness. and to discern one's own selfishness in even tougher. they say altruism is the highest form of selfishness kasi it assume superiority over others. talagang ewan.

Kane said...

Kiel, I have been thinking about what you wrote.

The age-old question of whether our lovers can really see us. See us, the way the word to see was used in the movie Avatar.

When I see old, happy couples and talk to them, I always get the impression that they get each other. What I mean to say is, both of them know and understand each other very well.

There are aspects of the other that they still don't understand, perhaps will never, but these are the things they have accepted. Maybe because no one can completely understand a person, not even our closest friends and lovers.

But that's okay. Maybe it's not necessary to be completely understood, but what is perhaps important is our non-negotiables. The things that matter to us most; we want our lovers to at least understand these.

Anyway, I don't see you at the gym anymore. I hope life is treating youu well =)

POEA Jobs said...

I also agree sundin mo kong ano paniniwala mo go. - Ana

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