Best of 2020 (so far)

With this post I close Tales From the Sea. I’m not sure if blogging is over or if it’s me who has changed. Anyway, this is a great year for changes, learning and decisions. A lot has changed since I started in 2006. Still, I am only concerned with the present. The past and the future seem very distant from where I stand now.

One of the reasons impelling me to write was to understand love. More than ten years later, I conclude this is mission impossible. There is a Portuguese poet who describes love as a fire that burns without being seen, a wound that hurts and does not feel, an unhappy happiness, a pain that unravels without hurting. It is about opposition and addiction. It is everything and more.

Our perception of love varies all the time. If someone asks me at this stage what love is, maybe I will answer that it is a moment (with a length that varies from person to person) when we let ourselves escape from reality. After love, only reality remains.

The subject has always interested me. It comes back to me today after watching the retake of a BBC series. It is a story of love, betrayal and the tribulations to fix a few broken lives. The narrator is sometimes the betrayed wife and the most important lessons on reality are hers. As I don’t want to forget them, I took my notes.

Are men attracted to the same type of woman? At least it seems easier to cheat if the differences are small. Once in another relationship, men try to make the new woman look like the previous one. (The comparing thing. Aren’t women the same?)

Due to the problems that sooner or later arise, we stop believing in love. “That’s how meaningless it is”, she says. “Love seem so grand, but it means nothing. What exactly is marriage? We all get married thinking we’re meant to be, and we set our lives as collateral just for having sex and living together. But is it really worth all that? Even when you know you’re going to be unhappy? I still don’t know the answer to that. But one thing I know for sure is that you can’t raise your kid with a guy who will definitively end up hurting you.”

So the woman’s responsibility, to herself and to her children, is to choose a good man. That way, when the grand moment passes, unpleasant surprises will not happen. (Nothing new but something to keep in mind. It remains to be seen whether there are enough good men available.)

Another important point: “Gouging out our spouse you once shared the majority of your life with is like giving yourself up as well. The agony ends up spreading to you both. So when it comes to a marriage, maybe there’s no such thing as a sole offender and an innocent victim.”

The rest is “enduring the days to come without getting swallowed by the pain”. With a bit of luck, we shall never have to look at that person and think: “The man who shred my heart into pieces. My enemy I took the life of. The one I loathed but once loved passionately. My enemy who was also my partner. A man who was my friend but also my nemesis. My husband.”