"Do not pity the dead, pity the living and above all… those who live without love."
(This is in response to the Myth of Devotion, which can be found at the bottom of the page)
This has to be one of my favorite myths. Even as a kid, I remember asking my parents, how can you love someone so much that you built a whole other world for them? Their reply was that because he never had Persephone and when you want something, you go to extreme lengths to get it and make sure you have it. Devotion, its so hard to be in a relationship, even in a friend to friend relationship, and to be the only one devoted to the other.
Devotion should be a two way street, but to many, when they see how devoted one is they take advantage. But why are we devoted? Why is it that one is more devoted than the other? The answer is want, we want something that we have not had in a while or we have not had at all. Lets take my example:
All my life I have been around girls, all my life. I was born in a family of two sisters and not to mention the twin sister that came out with me. I have been friends with girls, I have confided in girls, and girls have always been there for me (Allison in particular). I mean, sure, I have come across a couple of guy friends, we hung out, said some stuff, and that was all. Ya, my dad was there but he was not actually there, in most cases I would take care of my self and solve my problems with trial and error, never myself having a brother that has my back. In my life, never once have I connected with one guy friend on the same level that I have with my friends who are girls. So when I do make friends with one guy who seems like I can do as such, I devote myself.
I create for them a perfect world, making sure they have no cares, no worries, taking care of them, (and if they are younger) mentoring them. All I ask in return is that they do the same and become my brother. Most are happy to oblige and we go on living in the perfect world. In most cases, particularly in the middle, things start to go wrong. For some strange reason, there is a separation, and it ends… Just like that. They steal they can from my perfect world and just leave it to rot.
I think to myself where I went wrong and what happened so I can prevent it from ever happening again. I mean I loved them as if they were my own brothers, let them live in the perfect world that I created, where did I go wrong? Then one day I realized, that they themselves have so many guy friends already, why should I be any different from them? But they don’t realize that I have close to none and they are very special to me. The only difference is that I cared more than the others, and that, in the long run, the fault was mine own. They take advantage thinking, “He will always be there when I need him and when I don’t… I can just leave.” But I won’t be there forever, not if they don’t respect me. And so the great laughs we shared, the awesome times we have had and the greatest memories we shared become just that … a distant memory.
The moral is “Never care too much, the more you care the more you have to loose.” I find it terribly ironic (and actually very hypocritical) that I have known this since my very first failed attempt at a male friendship, but I still make the same mistakes. I will learn eventually…eventually.
By Louise Glück
When Hades decided he loved this girl
he built for her a duplicate of earth,
everything the same, down to the meadow,
but with a bed added.
Everything the same, including sunlight,
because it would be hard on a young girl
to go so quickly from bright light to utter darkness
Gradually, he thought, he’d introduce the night,
first as the shadows of fluttering leaves.
Then moon, then stars. Then no moon, no stars.
Let Persephone get used to it slowly.
In the end, he thought, she’d find it comforting.
A replica of earth
except there was love here.
Doesn’t everyone want love?
He waited many years,
building a world, watching
Persephone in the meadow.
Persephone, a smeller, a taster.
If you have one appetite, he thought,
you have them all.
Doesn’t everyone want to feel in the night
the beloved body, compass, polestar,
to hear the quiet breathing that says
I am alive, that means also
you are alive, because you hear me,
you are here with me. And when one turns,
the other turns—
That’s what he felt, the lord of darkness,
looking at the world he had
constructed for Persephone. It never crossed his mind
that there’d be no more smelling here,
certainly no more eating.
Guilt? Terror? The fear of love?
These things he couldn’t imagine;
no lover ever imagines them.
He dreams, he wonders what to call this place.
First he thinks: The New Hell. Then: The Garden.
In the end, he decides to name it
A soft light rising above the level meadow,
behind the bed. He takes her in his arms.
He wants to say I love you, nothing can hurt you
but he thinks
this is a lie, so he says in the end
you’re dead, nothing can hurt you
which seems to him
a more promising beginning, more true.