Tafelmusik

An Illusory Intertwingling of Reason and Response

Philosophy: I wax philosophical, and many times violently politico-philosophical. If you can stand the heat, here’s the kitchen: enjoy your stay . . .

Tafel :: philosophy

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Boxes and Hinds

"Familiarity breeds . . .", well, it does, anyway, without my saying it. But why, particularly? I know, I know, I'm already being terribly unromantic by subjecting romance of all topics to discourse. But . . . eh.

Premise the first: "Romance is thrill." You're not going to argue with me on this one, are you?

Premise the second: "Love withstands boredom." Ahhh! Now you see where I'm going with this!

How do you get your thrills? I tend to desire "the thrill of the chase," and am in that point no different than at least seventy percent of the male population of this backwater blue-green planet. But to me, "the thrill of the chase" isn't simply a nifty phrase to describe a pleasant habit of skirt-chasing: it's more a philosophy, or failing that, a theme which can't help but arise from my philosophy.

You see, long, long ago, a little girl named Artemis saw five golden hinds grazing in Thessaly, and captured four of them to draw her chariot. The fifth escaped and remained free. While many attempted to capture her, none succeeded (except Heracles, of course, but he let her go). However, to die in pursuit of the Golden Hind could not have been dishonourable, methinks.

And one can almost imagine a hunter whose entire life had been devoted to the Hind tracking her and following her for months on end, only rarely catching a brief sight of her as she disappeared, miles ahead. One can feel his elation as at long last he comes upon her asleep in a glen, and even see her as he himself gazes upon her.

And one can feel the dismay as he realizes she is not the Hind, but merely a hind.

And one can well imagine the heavy heart and the renewed plans and schemes and the chase begun anew.

"You mean she's human?" I ask myself this time and time again, only the "she" changes.

Others strive for understanding, not knowing why. One may poke into nooks and drawers searching for little boxes: something like tiny jewelry-boxes, I imagine. And whenever she's found one, she'll take it, and put it on a little shelf in her bedchamber, apart from all the other boxes she's found and lined up haphazardly to one side.

And day or night, whenever it strikes her fancy, she'll take down that new little box, and work at it with all her cunning and quickness, trying to find some way to prise its lid from off it; sometimes more, and sometimes less carefully, she picks at its locks and hinges. And finally, one day the lid will be off, and so will be the fascination: perhaps because the box contains only a few dusty scraps of paper with quizzical scribblings covering them front and back, but more probably because the lid is off.

"Oh, now I've figured him out," I can imagine her dismissing it, as she starts looking about for the next object of her fortitude.

So does the chase dismay? Does the understanding not suffice? Therein lies the difference between romance and love: romance is the chase, the struggle, the laying awake at night sick of soul and mind. Love, however . . . love is finding the Golden Hind. Love is opening a box and finding within a stone that glistens, and even glows ever so slightly.

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