Haiku Prompt: Think & Free

Haiku Prompt: Think & Free

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thinking that I’m free

let my soul fly unfettered

from thoughts chaining me

Thinking that I’m free let my soul fly unfettered.

Let my soul fly unfettered from thoughts chaining me.

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-54-free-think/

Perspective

Perspective

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I just finished reading ” Paper Towns’ by John Green and am feeling unexpectedly moved. There is this part where the hero (an eighteen year old) is pissed off with his friend for not responding in the manner expected. That is when the author highlights a mistakes probably all of us commit.

While we at all times expect to be accepted the way we are…not just ‘accepted’ actually…but also liked the way we are. We expect people to ‘not be themselves‘. We insist on repeatedly causing ourselves hurt over a patterned behavior of a loved one.

Like the author points out…why be upset over the late arrival of a friend who is known to always be late? Isn’t it enough that he eventually turns up always? It is a simple thought really. One that encourages to accept a few flaws in light of the greater connect. And one that lets us have friends without being constantly hurt.

Another thought the author explored was about wisely choosing metaphors defining our lives. While a low phase in life can be compared to having ‘broken strings’; it can also be viewed as just a low phase which with the help of friends can be over-ridden. It is in defining our lives that we can actually change it. In the end we lose only if we metaphorically speaking – refuse to see the light.

“…there are a thousand ways to look at it: maybe the strings break, or maybe our ships sink, or maybe we’re grass—our roots so interdependent that no one is dead as long as someone is alive. We don’t suffer from a shortage of metaphors, is what I mean. But you have to be careful which metaphor you choose, because it matters. If you choose the strings, then you’re imagining a world in which you can become irreparably broken. If you choose the grass, you’re saying that we are all infinitely interconnected, that we can use these root systems not only to understand one another but to become one another. The metaphors have implications.”

-Paper Towns

The book is full of such little shafts of light that may go a long way in dispelling the gloom that sometimes results from a disquiet mind.

Thin Love

Thin Love

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Recently I read about a couple that doesn’t believe in monogamy. A relationship without commitment projected as a choice made by a ‘strong independent’ woman, probably, as an assertion of her strength and independence.

Such relationships, it appears, are built on the foundation of ‘having no expectations’. The people involved feel ‘free’ and ‘unburdened’. The article reported that the rules of such relationships included not being allowed to ‘long for’ or ‘miss’ each other. This freed them from any guilt stemming out of their inability to fulfill the other’s romantic (or other) expectations..

It made me reach out to look up the meaning of the word ‘commitment’. I was surprised at the contradiction the word threw up. ‘Commitment’ means both:

the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.’; and

an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action’.

It is quite interesting to observe that the same word can refer to both ‘dedication’ and ‘obligation’!!

The words ‘love’, ‘relationship’, ‘dedication’, and ‘obligation’ seem to get intertwined quite often.

Obligation enters a relationship, probably, when the love that there was, is now gone. A relationship run on obligation loses steam pretty soon and can’t travel far. The burden of obligation on even the strongest of shoulders, eventually makes them sag and long for newer/easier alternatives.

That is why perhaps, most independent modernists are reluctant to give up their freedom of choice, even when in a relationship. The people involved make a choice, every instance, to be or not to be together. There is zero obligation, coupled with zero dedication.

And love? It’s difficult to fathom where love fits into the ‘no commitment’ model. ‘Love’, it appears, has been snipped and trimmed to fit into the modernist’s closet. “I will love you at all times”, has been appended with, “I will love you at all times, when it’s convenient for me to do so”!!!

Although, I consider myself a modernistic soul, when it comes to love and relationships I still seem to be holding on to the age old diktats of being completely dedicated in love.

To me, a relationship without commitment reeks of selfishness. A non-committed lover defines cowardice and not strength or independence. It often appears that people in non-committal open relationships are just using each other to escape the monotony of routine lives for sometime – till something better comes along. I think that it might work for some – for sometime. But, ultimately relationships of convenience end leaving behind a sour taste in the mouth; and more often than not, at least one broken heart.

A relationship in which a partner is not dedicated to the other one hundred percent is not based on ‘love’ at all. Dig deeper and you will find ‘low self confidence’, ‘fear’, ‘greed’ or ‘egoism’ buried at the foundations.

So even at the risk of being labelled ‘old fashioned’ and ‘soft’, I choose to sum up my feelings for ‘love’ and ‘relationships’ using Ms. Morrison’s words:

Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”
― Toni MorrisonBeloved