July 2008

I think a lot. That is a fact. Although there are plenty of things to think about, I am constantly working and reworking my conceptualization of interpersonal relations and interactions. It may be because we as human beings interact so much and so often yet seldom ever really connect. We are in constant communication yet real exchanges seldom ever take place. A prime example of this would be the ever popular Facebook and Myspace websites. Now don’t get me wrong… I love my Facebook. (although I never caved in to the Myspace bandwagon) It allows me to remain in contact with and stay aware of what’s happening with people I met and appreciated. But I also realize that all my “friends” on facebook come nowhere near what I define as a friend. But maybe someone out there looks at his or her list of 359 Facebook friends and considers each and every person on that list to be a “friend.” Clearly, my definition and that individual’s definitions of friendship do not match up.

I am not so concerned with this hypothetical person’s conceptualization of friendship differing from mine as I am with those I consider or have considered to be my friends. C.S. Lewis writes that friendship begins to form at the moment when two people look at each other and say “You too? I thought I was the only one!” I have come to find that real friendship, good and true, forms best when that exclamation of like-mindedness is made when two individuals find that they conceptualize friendship in the same way. Although my concept of the fine details of friendship has been in flux as of late, my core concept of the relation has always been the same. Friendship is based on love and loyalty. That may sound like the foundation of a romantic relationship, but I don’t think that romance can function without friendship because you won’t want roses and poetry all the time, but you will always want someone who can actually understand you there beside you.

I have lived through a series of, for a lack of a better term, “failed good friendships.” From those I learned more of what I find real friendship to be and more importantly what think it should never be. But I will spare you all the horror of reading about outlandish things I have lived through with my then good friends.

Most importantly, I believe that friendship with both men and women exists and should exist for its own sake. It is a wonderful thing within human capacity to share such a form of camaraderie. There are those who do not think that way at all. I have come across a substantial group of people who find friendship between a man and a woman to be only a means to an end. If you’re not dating within some allotted time period then you should cut your losses and move on (but then you were really never friends to begin with.) Another group thinks that friendship between individuals of the same gender is simply a time filler until everyone finds a husband or a wife and then the same sex friendships must dissipate. To me, those are all gross deviations. To me, that is a most barren view of human existence. If we cannot connect for the sake of connecting and appreciating one another, then all our other relationships will always have a hollow core.

I haven’t been able to write for a while. I liken it to a bird waking up one day and finding that it can no longer sing. It can produce horrid, sharp, guttural noises, but its song is gone. It is not a lack of material because I can truly write about almost anything nor is it a lack of motivation or drive. Yet every time I open up a new document I can only get a sentence or two out at best.

It is frustrating to say the least. I write when I’m happy. I write when I’m sad. I write when I’m confused or thoughtful. I write when I’m angry. I write when I’m joyful. I write when I’m distressed. Simply put, I write. There is too much thought and emotion in me all the time for my body to contain it, so it must be siphoned out of me in one way or another. Not having written anything in a while, I am most definitely at capacity.

And I know why. Every once in a while something begins to brew within that must be written out, but out of fear I refuse. The solid admission created by pen colliding with paper is far to much of a risk, far too grand of a gesture to sit comfortably with me. Instead, I push it aside and remain intent on putting pen to paper and writing about anything else. But it always fails miserably. The result is countless scattered journal entries, dozens of letters that will never be sent, and a few poems scribbled here and there–never collected in one location, always scattered and buried underneath some old socks or a pile of magazines. On the occasion that I do stumble across my littered secrets I always marvel at their honesty, their fervor, how much of myself has been infused into the paper in front of me, and how I could have ever forgotten they existed.

I always tuck the piece of paper or the notebook away again where I found it, magically forgetting it as soon as I turn around to walk away. I believe tonight I will be adding another piece into the mix. The narrative must continue.

I, like 99.9% of children, grew up watching Disney movies and listening to grand¬†fairy tales¬†being told over and over again. As far back as I can remember, Belle has always been my favorite Disney Princess. For some reason or another, I found her to be the bravest and brightest of them. It may have been her fixation on books, the way she bluntly turned down Gaston, her ability to find beauty in the Beast, or a combination of all three that first caught my attention way back when but of course I couldn’t tell you that. To my 7 year old mind, Belle was awesome.

But now when I look back on the heroine of my childhood and all her fellow leading ladies, I find it hard to ignore the one theme that ties all their stories together and that would be the love story, of course. When broken down to their bare structure, all the lovely stories and fairy tales are about a woman being found and saved by a prince in one way or another. All these heroines are of course wonderful and lovely, but their story is only told because a prince walked in and saved the day. Would we have ever heard of Cinderella if the prince had never gone looking for her after she disappeared from the ball? Would Rapunzel even exist if he hadn’t found her locked away in her tower? Would Belle simply wither away without ever having stepped into human consciousness if it weren’t for the arrogant prince who needed to learn to love? Would all these bright, funny, vivacious female characters have ever made a mark if it wasn’t for their love stories? What if Prince Charming never came?

My intention at the moment is not attack or bash fairy tales or Disney. I simply aim to pose a question. Is a woman’s beauty, intelligence, spirit not worth noting if it is not first noted by a man? Is she truly invisible until she is discovered by someone? If fairy tales seem too far contrived look to Hollywood and the tabloids instead. An actress may be talented and beautiful and a humanitarian but she becomes the talk of the town when rumors start to buzz about her love life. Of course the question goes both ways. Would the prince’s tale even matter if he had not found his princess?

I just sometimes wonder if it is all one big waiting game… And what if he never comes? What if he never finds her?