“…I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes. ” (Molly Bloom’s soliloquy, Ulysses, James Joyce)
Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?
YES, of course, the answer is yes. Yay for love. If it doesn’t last forever, well, so what? Neither does a broken heart.
This ‘loved and lost’ quote from Albert Tennyson’s “In Memoriam” elegy is beautiful both in and out of context because it covers so much ground. There are many different kinds of love, and just as many forms of grief. It’s not possible to truly know one without experiencing the other. We’ve all lost at love in one way or another, but wasn’t the joyful journey just so incredibly worth it?
Tennyson’s Victorian ballads are music to my ears – The Lady of Shallot in particular. Never mind all this love and loss talk, I’m also simply a sucker for poetry that rhymes. So what a lovely prompt. It’s made me want to write my own love-besotted ballad. Better to have written nonsensical garbage than never to have attempted it at all? Ha. Maybe not.
Now that I’ve had a chance to read some of the other Plinky responses to this question I’m wondering if my answer sounds a little too flippant. I did not mean to say that faithful and lasting love and committment is not important or not worth the effort you have to put into the daunting task of making it vibrant and making it last. If you can do that, you are without a doubt one of the luckiest people alive. But you also need to know when it’s just not worth it, and that true happiness may after all lie somewhere else. There should be no guilt in setting someone free. It seems that there are people out there who are adrift, clinging to grief and remorse and sadness as though it were a life raft, afraid to let it go, terrified to move on, to allow themselves to discover joy again. There is joy out there and it is not elusive. Open up your heart. It may surprise you what comes along to mend it and to fill it up.