Updated: Feb 1
Someone said to me once... “we have the right to hurt each other”.
I have since come to revile the statement.
In a brief and ill-advised role play as Syd and Nancy, I suppose I thought it’d
be a cute game to swallow that sentence without retort. I suppose I wondered what they meant, in the way you wonder about what might happen if you push the red button.
At the time and in the context of romance it barely made sense, but I tucked it away as possibly profound and to be dissected at a later time, when I wasn’t having as much fun and when eventually (if I was lucky) i’d find myself in a silence only broken hearts demand (for these are the best corners in which to think).
“We have the right to hurt each other”
It made sense In the most naive and embryonic of sentiments. Yes love hurts. Love hurts by virtue of expansion, of opening oneself, of becoming vulnerable. Love hurts when someone doesn’t love you back. Love hurts more when your lover is bored enough to pretend for just a while, and you get a glimpse of what it might be like to live there permanently. The proximity of the dream can drive you to violence.
Which the lower of us struggle to self-contain.
Im sure these were the things they referred to. Some sort of two way street of longing and confusion that was always gonna burn hot and fast. But I also think it was an excuse, an excuse to manipulate and twist and turn the gentle and passive love of someone else in hopes that the guilt would become passion, the hate would become obsession, the pity might become ownership, and the ache would be misread by the body as love.
We do not have the right.
To hurt each other.
Not with sociopathic intention, not with targeted precision. Every jab a plea for anything besides the natural tectonic drift.
I think that’s the axis on which love becomes toxic, turns sour...And all within a sentiment. A philosophy said in so little words in a passing moment, long forgotten by the one who said it. Just as I have forgotten heavy things I said, words that sit heavy in the heads of people I used to call close, we all say things as if words have no meaning.
I don't fault the author. I don't even fault the game.
And onto the responsibility of friendship... of intimacy, of love, of shared humanity.
That responsibility, I believe, is to nurture one another where and when the opportunity arises. Our responsibility is to water the gardens where we’ve been permitted entry. Our prerogative is to only take the fruit if it grows in abundance and is given freely by the gatekeeper.
We have no right to hurt one another, not even in the name of survival. Pursuing the advent of peace begins in your own heart. Give freely or not at all.
Just as Love is freely given or it is not love.
Love is a one way street sometimes. Sometimes it’s a roundabout.
Sometimes a dead end.
The analogy goes on...
The solitude remains the same.
We tell ourselves stories to justify our actions and that’s all well and good I suppose, not a single person can act within a million truths. Even perfection sits within contextual and singular truths. Perfection eludes itself. So it’s safe to ignore it as a possibility.
It costs nothing to question ourselves, privately in our minds, to question our histories and our patterns...until the day comes when we’ve gathered enough empirical evidence to make a move. Which in my experience seems to be when the discomfort is so great you can no longer stay still...which defines the artists journey of stubbornly chugging forward, stubbornly existing in places where you’re seen or seeing. Bullishly asking to be understood. Tepidly seeking to understand.
“men’s minds need a simple truth, an answer which delivers them from their questions, a gospel, a tomb. The moments of refinement conceal a death-principle: nothing is more fragile than subtlety.” - Emil Cioran
And because of that we are all simultaneously forgiven.